Thursday, September 29, 2011

MY PLEA TO ERIC DYKSTRA

[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation] 

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 below is a letter i sent to the crossing church office, pray that eric dykstra receives it, and pray for him!
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I POSTED THIS ON MY BLOG http://thecrossingchurchorcult.blogspot.com/
Hopefully those you have hurt will pray for you as I do.
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"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."(2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

MY PRAYER AND PLEA TO ERIC DYKSTRA

It is my prayer to you Eric, that God would give you eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of what you really are: a false teacher and a false prophet pushing a false gospel, a cunning deceiver, a master manipulator, a cruel dictator, a ravenous wolf dressed up in sheep's clothing, leading unwary people down a path of eternal destruction and wreaking havoc on people's lives; Eric, that is what you are.  

Eric, you are seriously wounding people. I have met some of those who have been damaged and broken because of you. These people are not liars nor are they exaggerating their claims. I saw their pain and anguish, it is genuine, and you are responsible.

I also pray that you would see the utter folly and quite frankly, the gross stupidity of twisting and mangling the Word of a Holy, righteous,  sovereign, wrathful, all powerful, all knowing  Deity of perfect justice. Think of it, you are putting the LORD's own people through spiritual abuse that ruins lives, destroys precious relationships, and leaves horrible, deep, ugly wounds that last for a lifetime., and you could care less! That is the epitome of foolishness.  

One day you will stand in front of this Holy, glorious, majestic, and awful Deity and you will have to give an account for every thought, every word, every deed, and every intention of your heart; in your own words, you will be "crappin' your pants"!

 And yet the Lord is so kind to you, daily dispensing lavish amounts of grace upon you while you are His enemy. The very fact that you have eyeballs in in head right now allowing you to read this post is an act of divine mercy from the LORD of hosts. If it were God's will, you would receive His swift sword of justice; you would cease living at this very moment, and be cast into Hell, utterly ruined and in agony for all eternity,

I do not make my petition with an attitude of spiritual superiority. I am actually way worse than I think! I am both a self-righteous Pharisee and a traitorous, despicable, low-life tax-collector. I can honestly say that I am no better that the worst scumbags in history. I am a criminal, a filthy rag, a polluted soul, a corrupted image bearer, morally bankrupt and without any currency or power to save myself.

Yet Jesus saves those who realize they are destitute and cry out for His mercy. Those who receive Him as Lord and depend on His finished work on the cross and rest in what He has already accomplished will receive mercy. Those who seek justification outside of His finished work on the cross and look to their own deeds to merit justification and favor from God will only receive justice.
      
My plea to you Eric, is that you get honest with yourself and regard the gravity of your situation. May you humbly admit that what you are doing at The Crossing is cosmic treason against the Lord Jesus Christ. I care for your soul, so please humble yourself, confess to the LORD the error of your ways, and be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. And also ask the forgiveness of those you have mercilessly bruised and battered in the name of Jesus Christ.

And just so you know, unless you repent, I will, by God's grace, aggressively keep up my assault on you and The Crossing church. Nothing personal. The battle is the Lord's but He does use worthless clay pots such as I to be warriors for the Truth, and through His people, God accomplishes His Divine purposes.

My next project is to critique the individual points of "The Code". I will use the Scriptures and logic to prove that your code is nothing but a stinking pile of unbiblical crap meant to enslave people into your cruel cult. I will alert you any time I make a critique. You can just ignore me if you want, but just know that if that is your strategy, that you cannot win! God wins, God always wins, and His enemies will be destroyed forever!  

I suggest you read previews one through six on my blog, THE CROSSING: CHURCH OR CULT?, (http://thecrossingchurchorcult.blogspot.com/)starting with number one, PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART ONE,  

In this preview series, I use Scripture and logic to refute the statement in point number twelve which states, ".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority".

Like it or not, The Crossing has no authority to act as a renegade church to do whatever the hell it wants. You are accountable to Christ, and as a Christian I have the authority of Scripture (an outside authority) to demonstrate your errors. If you refuse to read and answer my charges biblically, then you are denying the supreme authority of Scripture and by implication, you are denying the Lordship of Christ. You proclaim in point number one in The Crossing's Statement of Faith...

"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21).

...let's see if you live up to it.

ERIC, LET GOD SPEAK TO YOU THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES...
Please read the following Scriptures and have regard for your soul. You
have stepped in it big time and there is no possible way for you to argue your way out of this colossal blunder. And not only in this instance, but I will demonstrate time and time again that you are not living up to your claim that the Bible is your supreme and final authority in faith and life. You seem to have a bad habit of contradicting your beliefs with the clear teachings of Scripture.


SCRIPTURES TO READ 
Eric, may God bless you in the reading of His Word, Casey 
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But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God...(Romans 2:5)

[In other words Eric, each day you resist God’s Truth is like adding another log to the fire of Hell that will make it burn all the hotter. Repent, and do not delay. Your death is certain, but your life is not. God holds your life in His hand, and it is His patience and mercy that stays His sword of justice from falling upon you. Please, make today the day of your salvation.] 


 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus....

...These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10) 

Jesus speaking to the Pharisees) You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”
(Matthew 15: 7-9)

  (Jesus speaking) Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

(Jesus speaking) And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. (Matthew 16:24-27)

  By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 7)

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ... 

...But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9) 
 
(Eric, You say you receive visions from God? Take heed of this warning)  
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18)

(If you are receiving some sort of visions as you claim, then you are being duped by Satan!)
  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

(And the ultimate warning to you from the lips of Jesus Christ)    
(Jesus speaking) "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’" (Matthew 7: 21-23)

THE GOSPEL IS YOUR ONLY WAY OUT: REPENT OR PERISH
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 1:7)

God bless, Casey

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART SIX

[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation]  
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WHAT'S GOING ON...
In the last few posts of my series on exposing THE CODE of The Crossing church, I have been distracted away from focusing on The Code; instead my focus has been on exposing a serious problem between different points in The Crossing's  "Statement of Faith". If you need to play some catch up, then follow this link PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART FIVE

SUMMARY 
In my prior two posts in the series, I demonstrated that the Crossing's belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority"...is not supported by Scripture. 


In part four I provided implicit proofs that the above statement is not supported by Scripture. And then in part five I provided explicit proofs that the above statement is not supported by Scripture.  

Now I will put  a stake through the heart of The Crossing's belief as stated above by looking through the lens of logic and reason. I will compare the statement...
".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority",
...with point number one....
 "We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21).
...and demonstrate that these two statements contradict each other. 

 EXPOSING THIS PROBLEM LOGICALLY
If you don't know what a contradiction is, it is essential to understand, because it is a critical component of logically exposing the problem at hand. You can read my page, THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION FOR DUMMIES!

As I have stated before, I have no problem with point number one which states truthfully,  
"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21)  
I do have a problem with the last part of point number twelve as it is stated here,  
".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority", 
 APPLYING THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION 
Recall that the formula for the Law of Non-Contradiction is as follows:
  • A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense. 
Now let's fill in the variables as it pertains to the particular problem I posited...
  • "A"=Scripture, the Bible, the Word of God
  • "B"="Our final authority"
  • "Non-B"= "Is not our final authority"
Now lets put these variables together into statements called, "propositions". 
  • The Bible is The Crossing's final authority
  • The Bible in not The Crossing's final authority
Now it's obvious that both propositions cannot be true at the same time and in the same sense. Point number one of The Crossing's Statement of Faith rightly states....
"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21).  
Then the last part of point number twelve states...
".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority"
WHAT IS THE "SENSE" IN WHICH THE CROSSING STATES POINT NUMBER TWELVE?
This is an important question. The problem with the last part of point number twelve is that it lacks specificity and definition. In my last two posts in this series I posited the sense of the statement,".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority".
As I have pointed before, I believe the sense in which it was written is that each church is not subject to any outside biblical authority that might  challenge their teachings and practices.
If the sense in which The Crossing wrote point number one and point number twelve are in accordance with my analysis, then they have committed a bona-fide contradiction, and here's why.
In point number one they rightly state...
"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life." (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21).  
The sense in which this statement is crystal clear. The Crossing Statement of Faith even provides 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21 as accurate proof texts.  
In point number twelve they state that,  ".....each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." There are no proof texts provided to defend this position.

 If what they mean by that statement is that all Christians, both inside or outside of their church walls, have absolutely no authority whatsoever to interfere in their affairs and use the Scriptures in order to teach doctrine, warn, correct, rebuke or otherwise point out The Crossing's errors, then they have clearly contradicted point number one.

That's because the Scriptures call all Christians to apply the principle of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as taught by the apostle Paul...
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, tor correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work"  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
 Now notice that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is a proof text supplied in The Crossing Statement of Faith in point number one. 

NOW LET'S BE HONEST....
It is actually possible that both of The Crossing's points as stated above do not contradict each other. Let me explain.

If the "sense" in which point number twelve is different than the one I inferred previously, then there is no contradiction. Oddly, I found a similar doctrinal position in the Statement of Faith of a Baptist church in the north metro area. It makes the same claims, but with some important differences....
"that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority; that, therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other."
Now let's compare that statement with the one made by The Crossing in point number twelve, quoted in it's entirety...
"We believe all Christians have direct relations with God through Jesus Christ, are responsible to God alone, and that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority".
Notice there is an eerie similarity between the two points. In fact, it It is obvious that one church borrowed from the other church, or that both churches borrowed from some other source. That itself doesn't matter.

What does matter is the clarity and specificity of each point made by the respective churches. Let's look at that first point again...   
"that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority; that, therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other."
After studying and reflecting on the above point, I think I understand the sense in which it was written. Let's chop this up into a few pieces.
  1. "that every human being has direct relations with God...". I think that The Crossing's statement is more accurate because it adds, "through Jesus Christ". This is true because the only way sinful human beings can have access to the biblical God is through Jesus Christ.
  2. "...and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith." This statement probably means that every human being is responsible to God in the ultimate sense, it in no way refutes the principle of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 
  3. "...that each church is independent and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority...". Again, there is a stark similarity with this point and point number twelve in The Crossings Statement of Faith. The distinction, however, is very important. The Crossing dogmatically states, "each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority", and then leaves it at that, without any explanation as to what constitutes "an outside authority". The other church statement goes beyond this ambiguous statement and clarifies what each church must be free from, that being, "ecclesiastical or political authority..."
  4. "Ecclesiastical authority" is defined as a governing church establishment in which all daughter churches subsumed under it must submit to the church's interpretation of Scripture, doctrine, bylaws, ordinances, and practices; this supersedes God's supreme authority imbued in the Scriptures. The Roman Catholic church is a prime example of ecclesiastical authority. I would argue that Eric Dykstra is trying to establish his own ecclesiastical authority through The Crossing church and the establishment of it's many daughter campuses that must do things the way Eric Dykstra dictates.
  5. What is probably meant by "political authority" is a Theocracy; which is both a political system of government and a religious governing body combined into a single entity. In the Old Testament God maintained the order and the preservation of the Jewish people through theocracies. King David was a political king whose governance was influenced by God's revelation in whatever Scriptures were available at that time. 
  6. "...Therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other." Any time you see the word "Therefore", you must ask, 'What's the "Therefore" there for? With the institution of the New Covenant, the Old-Covenant in which God ordained theocracies became obsolete...
....Since the founding of the Christian church, there is to be no such thing as a "Christian theocracy". Christian churches are not theocracies with one ruling head which all Christians must submit to. Each church is independent in that they conduct their ministry in accordance with Scriptural imperatives, not to be influenced by any organized religious or political entity. The implication is that if a Christian observes a church or another professing Christian in error, then they can use Scripture to correct that error.....
....State power (a governing political body) must be obeyed; that's in the Scriptures. Obey, as long as the government does not tell you to do something which God prohibits, or tells you not to do something which God commands that you do. 
[This is a difficult subject to tackle. For example, The Bible says that we must pay our taxes, but what if those taxes go to fund the murder of the unborn a.k.a. abortion? That's not an easy question to answer, and I think other Scripture texts must be taken into consideration when answering difficult questions like that.Or how about illegally smuggling Bibles into a country that prohibits such an action? It is clear in Scripture that we obey God and disobey the government in this situation because God's command Christians to preach the Gospel to all nations; this imperative from the Lord supersedes that of government.] 
ERIC DYKSTRA CANNOT WIN THIS ONE 
Let me lay out the huge problem Eric Dykstra has on his hands.

ON THE ONE HAND...
 ...if Eric Dykstra agrees with point number one...
"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life." (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21). 
...and point number twelve...
"We believe all Christians have direct relations with God through Jesus Christ, are responsible to God alone, and that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority".
...in the sense that I described in numerical points one through six above, then he is bound to the supreme authority Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures and mediated through His true disciples.Translation? Any Christian has the authority of Christ to challenge any and all of Eric Dykstra's teachings and practices with the Scriptures. If he has nothing to hide, then he actually ought to welcome any and all criticism, and provide proof texts for what he believes is true. 

If he is found in error, and he is a genuine Christian, then he ought to receive rebuke and correction with a humble, mourning heart, repent (turn away from) of his current teachings and practices, and submit himself solely to the teachings of the Lord found in the Scriptures.

If Eric Dykstra is defensive and stubbornly refuses to listen to any Scripture-based arguments, if refuses to be reproved, and he threatens any who criticize his teachings and practices with "church discipline", if he refuses to acknowledge the spiritual abuses he is responsible for and will not ask for forgiveness of specific people he has damaged, then Eric Dykstra is refusing to submit to the supreme Lordship of Christ through the Scriptures. He is a law unto himself and therefore under the just condemnation of Almighty God. 

ON THE OTHER HAND......
if Eric Dykstra agrees with point one...
"We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life." (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21). 
...and point number twelve...
"We believe all Christians have direct relations with God through Jesus Christ, are responsible to God alone, [and that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority]".
...In the sense that the last part of point number twelve [in brackets] rejects any and all outside criticism rooted in the authority of the Scriptures, then he is stuck in a bona-fide contradiction. He would have you believe the ridiculous notion that both propositions... 
  • The Bible is The Crossing's final authority
  • The Bible in not The Crossing's final authority
...are true at the same time and in the same sense. And that is a logical absurdity.
By logic and reason both points cannot be true at the same time and in the same sense: It is impossible!

So Eric Dykstra is caught in a terribly awkward situation that he cannot win. His only way out is to confess his sins to Christ, repent of his false, deceptive ways, and submit to Christ's supreme authority.    

FINAL SUMMARY
This post will finally put to rest my detour away from my point by point critique of The Code that I haven't even started yet. I will have one more preview related to The Code, and then I can press on to the important task of the getting into the nitty gritty details of The Code. Until then, adios and God bless, Casey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART FIVE

[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation]  
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REVIEW
In the last three post's in the "Exposing THE CODE" series, I have taken a detour from specific analysis of "The Code". Instead, I have been focusing on serious problem I discovered in The Crossing church's "Statement Of Faith"

In my last post,
PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART FOUR ,  I persuasively argued that the Scriptures do not "implicitely" support the last part of statement twelve...  
"...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority."
This post will focus on how the Scriptures "explicitly" refute that statement. I will supply the relevent proof texts from the Scriptures, with some commentary on the proof texts provided.  

PROOF TEXT AND COMMENTARY FROM GALATIANS 1:1-10
This first text is from the the book of Galatians. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian churches in southern Asia Minor; these churches were probably planted by Paul during his first missionary trip. Paul wrote to the Galatians in order to oppose a sect of false teachers called the Judaizers. 

They taught that the Galatians must submit to the Mosaic Law before they could become Christians, undermining the critical doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Galatians received the Judaizers uncritically and thus were in peril of believing a damning heresy. 

Of all his epistles, this one records the Apostle Paul's harshest tone, his sharpest rebuke, and his most dire warning. He is absolutely intolerant and uncompromising when it comes to false teachers and false gospels. Here he sharply rebukes and issues a stern warning to the Galatians. I will provide commentary in [brackets].   
 1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,    To the churches of Galatia: 
[Paul immediately establishes his Apostolic authority, telling his readers he had received direct revelation from God Himself] 
 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
[A reminder of the Gospel from which they are turning from]
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8
[Here Paul reacts with "apostolic astonishment" that the Galatians would abandon the Gospel of grace he taught them and submit to a works based system of salvation]  
8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
[Paul writes here that there is only one Gospel; and that is is the Gospel they received from him. If any human or angelic entity preaches any gospel message other than what they had received from him, they are accursed, damned! 

It is also interesting to note that during the New Testament era, they didn't underline, passages, use bold face font, italicize, or use exclamation points! to emphasize something of extreme importance. What they did to emphasize something extremely important was to repeat a word or sentence. This means of emphasis is all over in the Scriptures. Notice that is exactly what Paul does here in the passage above ]   
 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:1-12)
[Once again, Paul reminds his readers that his Apostolic authority is not from man, but from Jesus Christ Himself]  

REVISITING THE CROSSING'S BELIEF.... 
What do you think would happen to the churches of Galatia if Paul did not intervene with the authority of Christ Himself to rebuke, warn, and teach the Galatians the error of their ways? Obviously Paul thought matters would only get worse, otherwise he would not have to write his epistle to the Galatian churches.   

In other words, the Galatian churches were not "independent". They depended on the Word of God, as mediated through the Apostle Paul, for their very survival. Churches are full of sinners, pastors are sinners, and even redeemed sinners have hearts that are corrupt and deceitful that, on their own, would lead them into dangerous places. 

Sinners who live without a steady diet of God's Word will stray, apostatize, and eventually slip into serious error. Churches, then and now, are not "independent". They depend on the outside authority of Christ as mediated through the Scriptures for their very survival.

"...must be free from any outside authority." Really? Do you know how ridiculous that statement is from a biblical perspective? The opposite is true. You could say that a church must be responsible to outside authority, otherwise it will eventually cease being a church. No pastor has any authority himself, but only the supreme authority of God as mediated through the Scriptures. 

MORE SCRIPTURE PROOF TEXTS
Let's read the Word as spoken from the very lips of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28...  
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28)  Crack open your Bible and read the entire passage in context starting at verse twenty. Here Jesus is rebuking James and John, His proud, self-seeking disciples who requested a special place of privilege along side of Jesus. The wanted a place of exalted authority over others. 

But Jesus responded by saying that gentile (non jewish) rulers have no higher authority but their own, and that they become dictators of their own people; that's what it means to "lord it over".

The path to greatness, according to Jesus, is by being a humble servant and sacrificially shepherding with the authority of God as mediated through the Scriptures. Leaders are never, ever supposed to be a law unto themselves, becoming heartless, cruel dictators. Instead, they are to act as the supreme authority, mind, and will of Christ Himself. 

CHRISTIANS ARE TO KEEP THEIR PASTORS ACCOUNTABLE
In fact, Colossians 4:17 teaches that members of a congregation have a responsibility to bring accountability to pastors if they do not teach and shepherd Christ's flock according to the ministry they have been given to fulfill....
'Say to Archippus [obviously a pastor], “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”' (Colossians 4:17)
Does that mean that if a member of The Crossing church reads in their Statement of Faith the belief that "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority.", that they should just accept it uncritically and never raise questions about it truth claim?

Or, as Colossians 4:17 teaches, that even Christians inside a church are to act as "outside authorities", to their leaders, bringing questionable teachings and practices to their attention saying, "Look, this is nowhere taught in the Bible...".

Here a couple more Scriptures that conflict with The Crossing's belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." 

[Paul writing to pastor Timothy as an outside authority] "As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines." (1 Timothy 1:3)
[Paul writing to Titus as an outside authority]  "This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith." (Titus 1:13)
Once again we see the common thread woven throughout the New Testament that churches and their leaders must depend on and must be accountable to outside authority for sustaining a spiritual healthy church. 
  
FOR FURTHER STUDIES...
....you can also read Revelation chapter two and three where Christ  Himself instructs the Apostle John to write seven letters to seven churches. John then writes the very words Jesus told him to write. Again, Christ is an outside authority giving commendations and rebukes to these churches, some faithful and some not.

Also read first Corinthians. Paul is an outside authority sorting out several serious errors spawned within the Corinthian church; I mean that church was a disaster! Yet Paul intervened and authoritatively sets things straight in his epistle.  

CONCLUSION
So as you can obviously see that the Crossing belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." is not supported by the Scriptures, and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. I challenge anyone to find scriptural support for this belief!   

Taken to it's logical conclusion, living out that belief in the context of church life is a recipe for spiritual disaster, making shipwreck of people's souls and wreaking havoc everywhere! It is so absurd as to be laughable, if it were not so serious an error!

The sad part is, Eric Dykstra knows this for a fact! But he is twisting Scripture and reinventing the gospel to achieve his own purposes and ends.

My next post will use logic to refute the statement, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." I will point out all I have written about this serious error via e-mail to Eric Dykstra after my next post. 


Monday, September 26, 2011

FREE GOSPEL RESOURCES


  • [If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation]  

  • Receive a Free gift! Many to choose from. More will soon be added! 
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FREE GOSPEL RESOURCES
Every week I am giving away gifts, without any obligation, called, "Free Gospel Resources". I will be giving away one gift a week to those who qualify. Scroll down to review the gifts in the givaway pool. If you see something you would like, then e-mail me at casey.nygren@parknicollet.com Scroll down to to the end of this post to see details... 
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 This is an awesome, Gospel-centered  music CD that is the fruit of Redeemer Bible Church worship pastor David Ward, titled, "Merciful To Me". Check the link for information and listen to the soundbytes of the songs on the CD. Some of the different musical genre's on the CD include bluegrass, jazz, and heavy metal. Most of the music is pretty mellow. Music is one way Christians can worship God. We sing to Him our praises and petitions, we reflect on His character and promises, and we marvel at the cross where justice and mercy meet.
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This book, "counterfeit gospels" by Trevin Wax exposes six common false gospels in evangelicalism today. This book tells the real Gospel story, then exposes six frauds with practical ideas in countering these specific counterfeits. 
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Randy Alcorn's book, "IF GOD IS GOOD-faith in the midst of suffering and evil", takes a hard look at how to reconcile the mystery of the Goodness and omnipotence of God and the prevalence of evil and suffering in the world. This is a thick book, but insightful for anyone who questions why a Good and all-powerful God allows His people to experience evil and suffering.
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"Drive By Theology" is an 10 CD set with an MP3 disc of 48 short, twenty minute Systematic Theology lessons, hosted by Todd Friel with pastor "smarty-pants" R.W. Glenn of Redeemer Bible Church, supplying his astute theological insight.  When these two get together it's great fun AND great biblical teaching! This is a fantastic opportunity to learn what the Bible actually teaches about all the major doctrines set forth in Scripture.  



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"The Valley of Vision" is a Christian classic. This little leather bound book is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions (don't be scared of the word "Puritan!") This is a book filled with deep, sobering, thought provoking, liberating, and inspirational Gospel Truth. Beautifully written and very poetic. I absolutely love it!
 
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"Living The CROSS CENTERED LIFE" by C.J. Mahaney is a great little read to help you keep the Gospel central in all your daily endeavors. Theology backed with practical applications that will help you grow more in your walk with Christ.
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    The Macarthur Study Bible (hadrcover in the New King James Version) Is a fantastic tool to aid you in studying the Bible. There is much in the way of commentary on the actual meaning of particular verses and passages. Very Helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about God's Word.
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    "The Biggest Question" Is a very detailed presentation of the Gospel with Todd Friel, Kirk Cameron, and pastor R.W.Glenn from Redeemer Bible Church. This is a good resource if you want to understand the Gospel yourself or if you want to share the Gospel with someone you are witnessing to.
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    Next is a trio of books on spiritual abuse...
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HOW IT WORKS
  •  Anyone can enter if they qualify. If you want to participate you can e-mail me at casey.nygren@parknicollet.com
  • Please provide some contact information. Provide an address where I can send your gift.  And don't forget to tell me which gift you want. 
  • I would encourage you to provide your spiritual background; ultimately I will decide if you qualify. Plus, I may send an additional gift as it applies to your circumstances, or if you struggle with any point of Christian doctrine that is a stumbling block to you.
  • I  will not post any personal information on my blog to protect the recipient from spiritual abuse.  
The "FREE GOSPEL RESOURCES' feature only applies only to the following...
  • Anyone who attends The Crossing or any member of another church that is heretical, abusive, legalistic, or preaches a false gospel.
  • Anyone who does not know if they are are a genuine Christian.
  • Anyone who knows that they are not a Christian, but want to learn more about the Christian faith.
  • Any member of the Back Door Ministries Support Group.
A FEW CONSIDERATIONS
  •   If you are a Christian with a solid understanding of the Gospel and everything that it entails, then please refrain from entering; I would rather give the resources to those who need it most. 
  • If I get more than one request per week, I will keep the requests in the order received. The person at the top of the list will be the next week's recipient.   
  • I will constantly update the resource pool with fresh, interesting, and relevent resources as necessary. 
  • you can be confident that I will not use your e-mail address for anything other than receiving an address to send off your gift. I will not forward your information to any other enterprise, and I will not contact you for any other reason, unless you give me permission. However, you are free to contact me at any time. 
  • If you want to know why I am giving away gifts, check out the link,.  "FREE GOSPEL RESOURCES"
May God bless you richly through these resources! Casey


Sunday, September 25, 2011

SERMON SUNDAY 9/25/11


[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation] 

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I am going to start another weekly feature to this blog called, "Sermon Sunday". I will roll out a post every sunday with sermon videos to watch. I will only include sermons that I know are from competent, reliable, God fearing pastors who handle the Word of God with utmost care and devotion.

You don't have to watch them all, although I encourage that you try to get through all sermons by the next Sunday. My selection will focus on different themes as outlined...
  • Understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • False teachers, false gospels, and false religions
  • The hard teachings of the Scriptures
The first two themes are self evident. The third needs a bit of explaining.

The Scriptures are the infallible, inerrant, objective Word of God. And as Christians, we must strive to understand the whole of Scripture, not just the parts that are appealing to our sensibilities. For example, if all we take away from the Scriptures is the doctrine that "God is Love and only love", without addressing the clear teachings in that God is also Just, Holy, and must punish sin, then we are ignoring and avoiding something about God that is true.

In essence, when we pick and choose what we like and what we don't like about the character and nature of God, or when we make up ideas of the Christian God not supported by Scripture, we are fashioning an idol; a false god that is safe, harmless, tolerant, and therefore a god we are comfortable with. Please take the time to understand the whole council of God, not just what is pleasing to you. When you fully understand the Gospel, these uncomfortable doctrines will actually make you rejoice all the more!  

This weeks feasting of God's Truth will be from the pulpit of John MacArthur.

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This sermon is for those who cannot understand why God ordains pain and suffering. This should be especially applicable to that who have experienced spiritual abuse.

He talks a lot about grace. Keep in mind that "grace" is receiving that which we do not deserve. It cannot be earned because by it's very nature it is a gift. If it must be earned, then it is no longer grace! 
God's Purpose In Our Pain

This is a sermon that makes the distinction between true and false authority. Where does Eric Dykstra derive his authority from?   
Exposing the Marks of Counterfeit Authority

This is one of those hard teachings of the Scriptures I told you about. This is an excellent biblical exposition on the downward spiral and degradation of America 
When God Abandons a Nation

God bless you in the preaching of His Word, Casey

Friday, September 23, 2011

PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART FOUR


[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation] 

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PICKING UP WHERE I LEFT OFF
I am still doing the preliminary groundwork before I start addressing the individual points in THE CODE. I had to take a bit of a detour because I had to address something important outside of THE CODE. It may take three or four more posts before I dig into THE CODE. Today's post is merely an extension of yesterday's post, " PREVIEW:  EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART THREE". You may want to read it now if you haven't already, otherwise you might get confused. So here we go!

A QUICK REVIEW
At the end of my last post I posited several questions, coming down hard on the implications of the last part of point twelve in The Crossing Church's "Statement Of Faith".  
"...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." 

Here are the slam-dunk questions I asked pertaining to the statement above starting with...

Really?
  • Is it O.K. then, if a church's authority is rooted in its pastor only rather than God's Word?  
  • Is each church really independent and therefore free to teach and practice whatever they want in the name of Jesus Christ? 
  • Does that doctrinal statement mean that all the people in the whole world who are Christians have absolutely no authority to interfere when a pastor of a church is deceptive, heretical, abusive, legalistic, disobedient, blasphemous, and irreverent in the name of Jesus Christ?
  •  Is it really true that every church, by necessity "must" be free from interference by any outside authority? Does that mean that even the police cannot interfere? What about the Lord Jesus Christ?
  • Where in the Bible exactly, are the proof texts that support these ideas?
  • Yes or no: Is Jesus Christ an authority above and beyond the authority of pastors and churches? 
  • Does Jesus Christ have supreme authority over all His creation?
  • Does Jesus Christ communicate His moral imperatives through His written Word alone, thereby exercising His supreme authority providentially through His true disciples? 
  • Are Christians called by Jesus Christ Himself to embody the principle of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and rebuke another church if it is unfaithful to the Word of God?
  • If The Crossing truly believes that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority",  isn't that refusing to submit to  Christ's supreme authority through His written Word and providentially through His true disciples, therefore denying His Lordship?
  • Doesn't point number twelve blatantly contradict point number one in The Crossing's Statement Of Faith? 
EXPOSING THE PROBLEM BIBLICALLY:PART TWO
I am not going to answer those questions point by point because the questions are rhetorical in nature; the answers ought to be obvious to the reader. Instead, I will counter The Crossing's belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority" with what the Scriptures teach about this statement, both implicitly and explicitly. 

 COUNTERING THE CROSSING'S BELIEF IMPLICITLY
What does it mean to counter The Crossing's belief "implicitly"? It means that we can look at New Testament Scriptures as a whole without quoting any bible verses, and critique The Crossing's belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority".

EPISTLES: THE NEW TESTAMENT POST OFFICE
Let me start by asking the question, "What are "epistles"? In the Bible an epistle Is simply a synonym for a letter, as in, "I wrote a letter today to my brother in Montana". Of the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament, twenty-two are epistles; that fact right there ought to tell us that epistles were the primary vehicle  and which God chose to complete the New Testament.

WHO WROTE THE NEW TESTAMENT EPISTLES? 
The most prolific author in the New Testament was the Apostle Paul who wrote thirteen of the twenty-two epistles in the New Testament canon. Non-Pauline epistle authors include the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, James and Jude who happened to be Jesus' half brothers. The epistle of Hebrews is unique in that the writer is unknown.

Although the authors of the New Testament epistles were mere human beings, the Lord chose them as agents to communicate His Word in such a way that the character and personality of the authors was not compromised, yet the theological content  of the epistles communicated the very mind, character, and will of God.  Therefore, what the New Testament authors wrote carried with it the inerrant and supreme authority of God Himself.

WHO WERE THE ORIGINAL RECIPIENTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT EPISTLES?
The majority of the recipients were churches or groups of churches  in a particular geographical region written during the Apostolic age.  However, some were addressed to specific pastors like Timothy and Titus. 

WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE IN WRITING THE NEW TESTAMENT EPISTLES?
The authors of the New Testament epistles, writing under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit, wrote personal letters to congregations and pastors for a variety of reasons, usually the epistles were front loaded with theological  (doctrinal) content followed by it's practical implications and moral imperatives as it applied to the Christians of the early Church.  

The epistles also commonly addressed a variety of serious problems that arose within churches, such as division and hierarchies between brethren, moral degradation within the body of Christ, spiritual abuse and abuse of the sacraments, lack of discernment, heresies arising within churches, and the increasing prevalence of false teachers and false gospels. These serious problems had to be addressed with "apostolic authority" or a church might end up in spiritual ruin and  cease being a genuine church. 

AND THE POINT IS....WHAT?
Notice that the normative pattern of the New Testament epistles is one of teaching, warning, correction, and rebuke by an "outside authority!"  These early churches were not just  planted by missionaries and then left on their own. There was direct correspondence between churches in the form personal visits and epistles by missionaries imbued with apostolic authority, which means that their teachings were, and still are, the source of divine Truth, and just as applicable today as they were two thousand years ago. 

In other words, The Crossing's assertion that,   "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority" is simply a ridiculous and outrageous claim. Such an idea is very dangerous, and any pastor or church that teaches and practices such a doctrine should not be trusted. 

WHAT IS THE CHURCH AND WHAT DOES THE CHURCH HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
A "church" is not just a building with four walls, it is the population of Christians who are Christ's possession, bought and paid for by His own blood! And churches, then and now, depend on the apostolic authority in the Scriptures  for its sustenance and vitality.

As ambassadors of Christ, genuine Christians use the inerrant and supreme authority of Scripture to challenge any pastor who, in the name of Christ, teach and practice doctrines that contradict the the mind, character, and will of God as revealed in the Scriptures.

If a "church" refuses to be rebuked and corrected by Scripture through the body of Christ, a.k.a Christians outside of their  church walls, then they are proud and hard-hearted toward the Lord, refusing to submit to His Lordship. And that is a damning error! 

BACK TO MY THEORY
Once again lets ask the question,  "Why is The Crossing church's "Statement Of Faith" constructed the way it is; is it by accident or by design?" 

My argument from persuasion as outlined in this post strongly suggests design. Why else would the heretical statement number twelve,  "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority" be sandwiched between the biblically orthodox statement number one, "We believe that the Bible is the verbally and totally inspired Word of God, inerrant in it's original manuscripts. The Bible is our supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21) ?

Just think, there are ten biblical statements between statement number one and statement number twelve. If the heretical statement number twelve was located right after the biblical statement number one, then a red flag might be raised and the reader may start thinking something along the lines of, "Wait a minute, you just got done stating that the Bible is your final authority, and now you are saying it is not?" 

And like I said, point number twelve is strung together as a single sentence with three distinct doctrines, of which the first two are biblical. The wildly heretical portion is just sort of stuck on the end, which lends credibility to the assertion that it is a biblical doctrine. 

Here's another suspicious quality to The Crossing's "Statement Of Faith" that I didn't mention before. There is another doctrinal statement after point number twelve, that would be statement number thirteen.  it goes like this.... 


"We believe in the universal church, composed of all regenerated believers of any race or nation. We believe in the local church, consisting of a group of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship." (Matthew 28:17-20; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31) 
Notice that the Statement of Faith does not end with statement number twelve, but statement number thirteen with proof texts to back it up.


I think the reason for that could be that the Statement's author(s) wanted to end it on a strong biblical note. The last thing they would want is for someone to end reading the Statement of Faith with something as audacious as the statement at the end of point number twelve. The point is to keep the readers mind off that heretical statement by immediately proceeding to the last doctrinal statement. 

SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES
Have you ever heard of subliminal messages? About twenty years ago I read several books on subliminal messages, and how they are so prevalent in advertising media. I began to look at advertisements in magazines and I was blown away by the massive amount of subliminal messaging we are exposed to daily. Here's an accurate  description of what subliminal messages are I found on the internet...
 "Subliminal messages are words, images, or sounds that might appear in television or radio commercials, TV shows or movies, print ads or recorded music. Usually when subliminal messages are seen or heard, they’re not recognized for what they are. In fact they may be ignored by the conscious brain and be beyond the level of conscious perception.

The theory holds, and it is getting less popular, that subliminal messages are perceived by the subconscious or unconscious mind. Since the conscious mind doesn’t have time to rationalize or analyze these messages, people might more easily accept them. For instance, the use of red in commercials for Target® is at least partly subliminal. The red itself really has nothing to do with the company, but persistence in using it for most commercials means advertisers hope that the color red, whenever seen, will remind people of Target and convince them to shop there."

 Here is a link that shows subliminal messages in actual advertisements. I will warn you. This link has graphic, sexual content, so use wisdom in deciding whether you want to actually view the link. This is only instructional, but still, don't violate your conscience! I suggest reviewing only enough material to get my point across. 

IS PART OF STATEMENT NUMBER TWELVE A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE?  

It could be. If the heretical statement "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority" is assimilated at the unconscious level. That would serve to indoctrinate its readers into believing that such a statement is true and is a principle that ought to be lived out in in the context of their church.

I hope I have made my case clear implicitly. Next time I will provide actual proof texts, and explicitly refute the statement,   
"...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority"  
Until then, God bless, Casey