“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed…”
– Noah Webster of Pennsylvania: An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787
“[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.”
— George Mason of Virginia: Virginia’s U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788
As history has shown, it is a common tactic for the oppressing force to gain control of a nation by seizing the means by which individuals might defend themselves. Once the citizenry are disarmed, it is a relatively easy matter to exert complete tyrannical control. It seems to me that the same principal holds true in the spiritual realm.
The New Testament is replete with warnings of false teachers and teachings, of lying signs and wonders, and of corrupt men who would seek to draw followers after themselves. God has not left His people defenseless. He has indwelt us with His Spirit of Truth, provided us with the example of Christ, His teachings, the teachings of the apostles, and all the other writings found in the Bible.
There is a gift of the discerning of spirits given to some, but more importantly, there the ability to test all things and to be discerning, which is the responsibility of all believers. If the believer is to be armed against the deceptions of the enemy, and to remain free from his oppressive regime, then he must exercise discernment with continual vigilance. If this defensive weapon is seized and taken from you, then you are easy prey for any who would desire to take you captive.
Because of these things, it is very disturbing to me to observe a trend in the Body of Christ today. This trend is to scorn and belittle those who would exercise their God-given self-defense weapon of discernment. Those who would obey scripture and “test all things” are mocked and ridiculed and labeled ‘Pharisees.’ It seems that the Church has fallen prey to the pluralistic, non-judgmental mindset of our present age. The one unpardonable sin is to question someone’s belief, or dare to say that it might be wrong. These new leaders demand you climb on the bandwagon, and if you cannot agree, then you must remain silent at all costs. They call for us to experience now, and evaluate later. Adam and Eve had no experiential knowledge of good and evil. The Serpent called their attention to the attractiveness and desirability of the fruit, and enticed them to experience for themselves. In their later evaluation, they knew that they had been wrong to ignore what God had said on the matter, but by then the damage had been done.
Those who would remove the defensive weapon of discernment are binding the hands of the Church. They are preparing God’s people for the slaughter. Why are they doing this? Why would they want to expose millions to the myriad deceptions of the enemy with no protection. Why do they take away what the Father has given? The Church is becoming a slaughterhouse slick with the spilled blood of saints who have been seduced by false teachers. The faithful plod forward to the killing floor, their trusting eyes fixed on their leaders. Error and deception runs rampant. Charlatans rule the bestseller list. Pseudo-knowledge is dispersed around the world, speeding through electrical synapses. Make no mistake. It is a battle, and much is at stake.
Let us examine the logic (or lack of it) behind what some of these leaders are saying:
“You have to experience it yourself before you judge it.” This is pure nonsense. It is the method the Mormons use to get people hooked in (pray about the Book of Mormon and see if you get a ‘burning in your bosom’). You don’t have to experience suicide to know that it is bad for you. Christians are never commanded to authenticate a questionable spiritual experience by submitting themselves to it.
“If you don’t jump in the River, then you may miss out on the move of God.” If you don’t exercise your duty to test everything and hold on to what is good, then you may be deceived. God is not in a hurry. If you are walking with Him, seeking to please Him, then He will guide you into all He desires for you. Just because someone proclaims something is a move of God, doesn’t make it so. Beware of the salesman who pushes you to make a decision on the spot. He may have something to hide.
“God offends the mind to reveal the heart.” I don’t know what this is, but it is not Scripture. It is true that God’s ways may be offensive to human wisdom. Often though, this quote is used to say that if you are offended by something going on in the Church, then your heart isn’t right. The real issue is, are you offended because what is going on is unscriptural? If so, then stand fast.
“Don’t oppose what is going on, in case it turns out to be a move of God.” This is the argument used by Gamaliel in Acts chapter 5. Although this argument worked in favor of the apostles, it must be pointed out that Gamaliel was a Pharisee making a pragmatic argument. His was not a directive from the Lord on how believers should conduct their discernment. If something is not from God, ultimately, it is true that it will not succeed. In the time that it takes for a false movement to runs its course however, many lives will be damaged, and many souls deceived and damned. Look at the phenomenal growth and apparent success of Mormonism. Christians rightly oppose Mormonism on a basis that it twists and deviates from Scripture. Things which occur within Christianity should receive no less scrutiny. Or consider the works of Satan. We know that he will not succeed, but we certainly do not sit back and allow him to do his work unhindered. When souls are at stake, we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.
“Don’t you want more of God in your life?” This is a sneaky one. Of course, any sincere Christian realizes that they need to grow closer to God, and they desire to do so. This should not lead us to embrace everything that comes down the pike however. Part of growing closer to God includes obeying His commands to test and be discerning. The desperation of some Christians reminds me of King Saul turning to the witch of Endor. He wanted an answer at any price. The price he ended up paying was his own destruction.
Look for yourself. See how many times the New Testament references false teachers, false teaching. Using your concordance, look up the commands to discern and test, to not be deceived. Shake off the chains of those who would seek to bind you. Exercise your “Right to bear arms” as a believer.
The healthy soul, like the healthy blood system, has it’s proper proportion of white and red blood cells. The red corpuscles are like faith: they carry the life giving oxygen to every part of the body. The white cells are like discernment: they pounce upon dead and toxic matter and carry it out to the drain. In the healthy heart there must be provision for keeping dead and poisonous matter out of the life stream. A.W. Tozer
Christians are being robbed of their faith
Cessationist teaching is robbing Jesus’ disciples of a fully-orbed faith and can result in Christians turning towards dangerous ‘remedies’ on health issues. (Author: Watchman)
Study Bibles: danger handle with care!
A Study Bible can be a very useful and convenient tool in exploring the Word of God. However there is a very real and unavoidable danger when using one. (Author: Christians Together)
What we are not hearing from God's Word
Joel Rosenberg offers some notes on prophecy and eschatology; subjects which he believes are vital and yet not being widely taught. (Author: Joel Rosenberg)
Peter made the connection: we must do the same
When the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, the The apostle Peter ‘joined up the dots’ between that event and its relationship to God’s prophetic word. The same perspicacity is vital in our day. (Author: Christians Together)
When Jesus Returns
Every believing Christian holds the view that Jesus is to return. The 'when' is beyond question: only God knows. However the how and why attract a range of views. (Author: The Editor)
The (Coming) Millennium
A chapter extract from an excellent little booklet entitled 'The Coming Saviour and The World's Crisis' by a Scottish lay preacher and former City Missions' Superintendent. (Author: William H. Shanks)
Satellite Christian TV - Blessing or Danger?
With the spread and reach of Christian TV broadcasting we need to ask the question whether all that we see and hear is trustworthy an true. (Author: Christians Together)
Putting a stop to Cessationism
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit has, and continues to be a subject of much controversy, mis-understanding and abuse. In a day when the Christian church needs to be all the God intends for her, Ray Borlase defends his corner. (Author: Ray Borlase)
Clericalism is killing the church
While there are many sincere and conscientious believers in pulpits who are labouring diligently in their calling, the unbiblical clergy/laity divide is killing the church. (Author: Watchman)
Occult spirits in the church?
A mature believer writes of his exposure to 'bizarre behaviour' in the church; and of leaders who ignored the warnings and silenced the expressed concerns. (Author: DN: a personal testimony)
I will set a Plumb Line amongst My People
When the foundations are faulty it is pointless to fiddle with the superstructure. The problem needs to identified and remedied before the building can be soundly restored. (Author: )
It's right to allow calls to gay ministers
Amongst all the hoo-ha surrounding the Church of Scotland’s decision on gay clergy, the folk of Queen’s Cross were and are – at one level – totally within their rights to call Scott Rennie. (Author: Christians Together)
Once saved; always saved
The 'Platypus Challenge' series kicks off with the question: 'Once saved; always saved'? (Author: The Editor)
Easter; myths and traditions obscure amazing truths
Passover, Calvary and Easter; how the true wonder of it all is veiled from Jewish eyes and under-realised and distorted within the Gentile church traditions. (Author: Christians Together)
What is Next for Rick Warren?
Roger Oakland sees the drive for 'peace and unity' as the bait which will draw Christian churches and believers into a multi-faith mix. (Author: Roger Oakland)
Q 'n' A sessions after Sunday sermons?
The apostle Paul advised his audience to 'check him out'. Surely contemporary preaching should be subject to the same scrutiny? (Author: Christians Together)
Sexuality, eschatology, Israel: and falling leaves
A recent letter from a believer outlined these issues as important when looking for a spiritual home amongst the range of churches and denominations. They are vital issues in our day. (Author: Christians Together)
Countering the Insider Movement: a new film
The newly-released film 'Half Devil: Half Child' is a response to the tendency to compromise God's Word in order to reach those of different religions and cultures. (Author: Christians Together)
Voting: the great church splitter
‘One person; one vote’ may be the preferred option in a democratic situation but it has no place in the body of Christ. (Author: Christians Together)
Facts about Islam
Dr. Peter Hammond outlines the normative progression of Islamic influence and behaviour in countries in relation to the demographic statistics. (Author: Christians Together)
Ten things everyone needs to know about Islam
Dr. Emil Caner sets out some of the basic facts regarding what is by some, judged the fastest-growing religion on the planet. (Author: Dr. Emil Caner)
Obstacles to Spiritual Growth: An Overview
An introductory session to a 6-part teaching course on the 'blockages' and difficulties which disciples of Jesus face in the road to maturity and righteousness. (Author: Christians Together)
The Platypus Challenge
A previous article related to those ‘awkward’ (Platypus) verses which do not fit comfortably within some traditional theological frameworks. This present article sets out a mechanism to address the issue(s). (Author: The Editor)
Every belief system has its pet doctrines and dogmas; but some of these need to be challenged. The exception proves – or disproves– the rule. (Author: Christians Together)
The problems afflicting Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) are continuing to run over the concerns that basic words such as ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ have been removed in order not to offend Muslims are growing. (Author: Christians Together)
To whom it may concern
With whole denominations moving into open rebellion against God and His Word, believers are being left shaken and unsure of how to respond. (Author: The Editor)
Truth, error and deception
The world with its deceptions and error is a dangerous place for any Bible-believing Christian to be: sometimes it is even more dangerous in the church. (Author: Watchman)
What to look for in a church
As more and more believers are finding that existing church structures, practices and teachings are inadequate and/or flawed it is important to examine some basic characteristics of meeting together. (Author: Christians Together)
Will the church be all-conquering before Jesus comes back?
Two different and opposite theological systems both see the church as coming to assume a dominant position over the nations; but is this view biblical? (Author: Al Dager)
Something biblical; or just more of the same?
In the present collapse within society and within the church there is great potential: the potential for rebuilding from the foundations or merely seeking to restore that which has failed. (Author: Christians Together)
Rick Warren builds bridge to Islam
Al Dager of Media Spotlight magazine looks at the issue of compromised faith as 'America's Pastor' Rick Warren works towards syncretism with Islam. (Author: Al Dager)
Passion Week/Last Supper/Traditions
Chris Hill speaking on the events of Passion Week. He speaks on the Last Supper and the nature of that meal, the question of which day was Jesus crucified and touches on the problem of 'traditions' (Author: Chris Hill / Christians Together)
Are we really caring for one another?
Has the body of Christ succumbed to the common view that the primary provider of welfare and care for believers is the secular state rather than the church of God's people? (Author: The Editor)
Reformation document is damaging the church
A document drawn up by the Westminster Parliament in the 17th century has profoundly influenced the Reformed churches since that date; biblical in part only, it is severly damaging the church today. (Author: The Editor)
Reformation; Sacraments; Babies and Bathwater
Subsequent to the ecclesiastical upheavals of the 15/16th centuries, many Christians who are sick today are turning to highly-dangerous spiritual practices. (Author: Christians Together)
Off Message: attacks from the inside?
Lost in Translation? Modern user-friendly Bible versions; or paraphrases; or corruptions of God's Word? You choose. (Author: Berean Research Institute)
Depression and the Christian (2)
Depression is a problem from which Christians are not immune. However the response to and 'treatment' of the malady should be markedly different from those of the secular world. (Author: Christians Together)
Depression and the Christian (1)
Jesus said that He those who were to follow him would enjoy life in all its fulness (John 10:10). In this context should Christian disciples suffer from depression. Johan Tangelder has written on the subject. (Author: Johan D. Tangelder)
Prophecy fulfilled: rumours of wars arising
Much of the prophetic passages relating to future events have been reduced to the point of meaninglessness leaving the body of Christ weakened and unprepared. This article seeks to speak into that void. (Author: Wilfred Hahn: Eternal Values Review)
Is the church heading underground?
With increasing pressures from new legislation and growing constraints on freedom of speech, how will Christians and churches respond? (Author: Christians Together)
A situation; a request
A recent letter to Christians Together sets out a situation and makes a request. Perhaps you can help; or maybe you are in the same situation. (Author: Letter to Christians Together)
What shape the church?
With the failures – in a variety of forms – within much of institutionalised churchianity many believers are now looking critically at a range of underlying issues. (Author: Steve Taylor)
Leaven in the lump, and tares amongst wheat
The parable of the wheat and the tares is sometimes mistakenly offered as a biblical justification for the resigned acceptance of error in the church. The problem has an ancient root. (Author: Unknown)
When everything shakes, in whom do we trust?
Widespread error and apostasy across the spectrum of organised churchianity has caused many believers to question of what or whom to trust. (Author: Christians Together)
David Pawson's Fireside Chats
In a completely new venture David Pawson is broadcasting 'Fireside Chats' with the fist focussing on the riots in Britain in 2011. (Author: Christians Together)
Don't read this...
Warning: clicking on this link could result in damage to your status, raise your blood pressure, cause your knee to jerk and challenge a lot of what you have been taught (Author: Watchman)
Is there anything wrong with Rob Bell's gospel?
J. Lee Grady suggests tha the controversial book 'Love Wins' by very popular author Rob Bell celebrates God's love but drifts dangerously into Universalism. (Author: J. Lee Grady)
The 'Left Behind' doctrine relaunched
With a fanfare of publicity the 'mega best-selling' Left Behind series of books is being re-launched.The question is whether today's Christians are taking their doctrine from their Bibles or from popular fiction. (Author: Christians Together)
Sound Doctrine for the Remnant; a resource for believers
A free 'Christian library' resource offering teaching material on DVDs and CDs. The ministry aim is to strengthen 'the Remnant' in the days in which we live. (Author: Christians Together)
Christian Survival Resource
A section of the Christians Together website aimed at being a resource for Christians in the 21st Century facing church fragmentation and false teaching. (Author: )
Kingdom Now teaching: beware!
With many movements it is difficult to define exactly what they are and believe. This article is a recent example of what Kingdom Now theology teaches. (Author: Example of Heresy)
Thank God: someone has said it at last
It is very very sad that it needs to be said. It's also very sad that no one has said it before. It's only an American who could say it: at last someone has.. (Author: J Lee Grady)
Kundalini spirits in the church?
Andrew Strom has expressed strong concerns about what he sees as the worst invasion in church history of deceiving spirits into the body of Christ. (Author: Christians Together)
The Shack; huge help or subtle heresy
In our microwave dumbed-down culture are enquirers and Christians helped or led into heresy by the easy-read attractions of 'Christian' novels and allegories? (Author: Watchman)
The 'Emerging' Church and Straw Men
The (so-called) Emerging Church presents a confusing picture, and offers huge possibilities for misunderstandings as Christians debate 'church in the 21st century'. (Author: Christians Together)