June 21, 2011

My thoughts: Van Impe ministry abandons TBN in clash over Islam

Another friend of mine asked for my thoughts regarding this story from World Net Daily and here is what I shared.  I've added a bit more because my mind began thinking of some other quotes and Scripture that support my position.

Jack Van Impe is right to call out those preachers that are abusing the Bible for their own selfish gain, especially when more of what you hear coming out of their mouths is about money, being "blessed by sowing a seed into this ministry", or by preaching that God wants everyone to live happy, healthy and wealthy, which greatly contradicts Scripture.  

Romans 16:17-18 is an excellent example of what Jack Van Impe is doing and people should follow this when they have searched the Scriptures diligently like the Bereans did in Acts 17, to know whether what has been said is in solid accordance with Scripture AND has been used in its correct context too.

Rick Warren has consistently taught things that are contrary to Scripture, manipulating verses and translations to make it say what he wants it to say.  Robert Schuller has hardly ever preached anything sound because his philosophy was all about having a positive mental/theological attitude.

I do find it hypocritical that TBN would not allow Van Impe to say anything about Rick Warren or Robert Schuller, but did allow people such as Harold Camping and Rob Bell to be named specifically on one of his programs.

The effort to combine Christianity and Islam is certainly an example of a church that has become apostate and should be rebuked too.

When you look at many of the churches today, many of them have slowly worked into their vocabulary the replacement or removal of biblical terms, so that they don't sound biblical or Christian-like.  

I just read in John MacArthur's book Preaching: How to Preach Biblically where the following quote was cited and is related to this, which says, "I urge adherence to Biblical terminology. Much modern preaching has taken a psychological and sociological turn. It is mysterious and mystical. It sets forth psychiatric ideas, often using the terms of the psychiatrist rather than those of the Christian evangelist. It speaks of repression, fixations, traumas, neuroses, and syndromes, world without end. I claim that in the main these are not terms that the Holy Spirit can use effectively." 

I do believe that a pastor of a church should keep the language biblical while helping the congregation to learn and understand it as clearly as possible.  It's no different than studying to become a doctor and learning medical terminology that is applicable to the work of a physician.  Doctors speak using certain terminology that explains certain things in the human body as it relates to recommended treatments for a patient.

The language of the church, especially from the pastor shouldn't be any different.

Again, John MacArthur says in The Consequences of Non-Expositional Preaching regarding the language necessary for teaching the bible and he refers to R.L. Dabney who said, “The power of the Great Revolution that we know as the Reformation was the restoration of Scriptural preaching. It came with the authority of God. It came with the power of the Holy Spirit. It came under the clear leadership of Christ and people submitted to the Word of God in the pulpit and people followed and submitted to the Word of God in the pew.”

"And Dabney then goes on to draw a little kind of a paradigm that helps us to understand this. He said, “The golden age of preaching is Scripture truth in Scripture dress,” that’s the words he used. Scripture truth in Scripture dress...that’s the golden age. That is all the truths of the Bible presented in their biblical context as the Holy Spirit wrote them, had them written by inspired writers. Scripture truth in Scripture dress."

"You teach the Bible from the Bible. You teach Bible truth in Bible texts. That’s the golden age. That’s what we endeavor to do...to teach Bible truth from Bible texts. You say, “What else would you do?”

This is most disappointing from the story that Rick Warren has advocated through his book, The Purpose Driven Church that "...churches change music to a contemporary rock style, eliminate hymnbooks and the choir, eliminate the Sunday evening or Wednesday prayer services, remove the word "church" and refer to it as a "campus," and reduce the use of the words "unsaved," "lost," "hell" and "heaven.""

No one has to look too far at the churches around their neighborhoods and see if this is true.  And here is the question that I would ask - Did the Apostle Paul go on missionary journeys throughout the Mediterranean and establish campuses or churches?  

People that are unsaved are not unchurched - they are unsaved, unregenerate, unrepentant and depraved human beings that desperately need to turn to God and humble themselves before Him by throwing themselves at His feet and placing their full faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.  I said this to a particular pastor in a letter to him that stated people are not unchurched in such a way that they have forgotten how to behave in church.  They aren't even looking to relearn how to do that anyway!  

And yet, there are churches trying to do everything they can to accommodate people with "an adaptable gospel that is spoon-fed through humorous skits, drama, and short, nonabrasive sermonettes on how to cope—called a seeker-friendly or sinner-friendly gospel."  David Wilkerson, The Dangers of the Gospel of Accommodation

Van Impe is right to cite Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren and anyone else, as contributors to causing the church to become apostate and people should be forewarned about it by telling them they should leave those churches and leave them fast too!

I think if people truly want to honor God and the Lord Jesus Christ and where they go to church, they will not want themselves to be found in any of the churches listed in Revelation 2 and 3, except that they and their church may be foudn to be like the church of Philadelphia that was known as a faithful church.

I hope this helps clarify my position.

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