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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials.

Confusing alliances

approvedToday we’re covering several news stories, including the question many Christian bloggers are asking: Did Francis Chan give his stamp of approval to a right-wing dominionist organization known for promoting signs and wonders, simply by speaking at a conference the group put on? We’re going to talk about the growing muddy lines around what some view as guilt by association, and others say is validation by affiliation. What’s the difference? It’s getting harder to tell.


Today’s Episode:


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But first, did you know that the number of Christian martyrs doubled in the year 2013? Joining us in our first segment today is a frequent guest of our program,  William J. Murray of the Religious Freedom Coalition, and he is a strong advocate for persecuted Christians in America and around the world.

We’ll get an update on William’s project: Christmas For Refugees.William founded ShariaFreeUSA.orgHis mother was the founder of American Atheists was Madeline Murray O’Hair. You may remember that she also won the landmark lawsuit on behalf of her son William that effectively banned prayer in public schools. Thankfully William did not follow her path, and works to fight religious persecution around the world. (Check out his Capitol Hill Updates blog.)

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4 Responses to “Confusing alliances”

  1. Well here is a confusing alliance for sure…on the other hand it is clear as a bell.

    Stephen Sizer promotes Rick Warren and has conducted his materials at his church.
    Yet Sizer is an enemy of Israel. Does anyone possibly believe that if Rick Warren was known for being a Christian Zionist in the least and defending Israel, that Sizer would promote him? Not on your life. And even after I confronted Sizer for promoting Warren's boast that his PDL book is the best selling hardback in history, proven to be totally false, instead of repenting, Sizer retaliates against me. Add to this, he is an ecumenist. Stephen Sizer is an agent of Rome very ecumenical

    Proof: http://stephensizer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/ecumen

    Proof:

    January 10, 2014 at 11:26 AM Reply
  2. Mr Davis #

    I have to agree with the sentiments of todays show but because we do not know what the word says there is little hope to discern right from wrong. How can we, if we do not know His word? Those who profess to know Christ Jesus do not even know the gospel. If we do not know the gospel what exactly have we received if we have received anything. If we are His, He gives us His divine power that we may be the sons of God, not born of our own will or by the will of others, or of blood, but of God to the praise and glory of His name. That divine power guides and directs us into all truth for that divine power is the Holy Ghost, the Counselor, the Comforter the promise of Christ for those who would believe on His name.

    Man's gospel is humanism, which, is another gospel and no gospel at all but the Gospel of Christ Jesus is not of man nor does it depend on man for God Himself would save us from our selves. Christ Jesus (God in the Flesh of man, the exact representation of the Father, full of truth and grace) would take that which God hates, our utter rebellion born out of disbelief in our own depravity, and take this utter filth upon Himself bearing it in His flesh and making an end to it on His cross in His death for He would become the propitiation for our sins. He incurred God's wrath in Himself satisfying His divine justice for our sins and just ours but the sins of the whole world for all time, that He may be the just and the justifier of Him who has faith in His blood and has no confidence in himself to escape the judgement of God being in and of himself righteous. It is for this reason He is the one who justifies by His own knowledge for the Lord knows how to save those who are His and He will lose none of those the Father gives Him. 2 Peter 2:9, John 6:37-40

    Isaiah 53:11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied : by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Now that which we know we should do, that we do not do. So how can we know the truth that the truth may set us free? John 8:31-32 If we do not do what we know we should do, have we been freed from our bondage to sin? If we have not been freed from our bondage to sin are we His? For anyone who claims to be His must walk as He Himself walked Who though being God came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

    We need to examine our faith and where we have placed our trust and be honest with ourselves. Are we free? Are we Acquitted? Do we know we have been forgiven or do we presume we are forgiven.

    Test yourselves to see if you are of the faith, prove yourselves, know you not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you except you know yourselves to be reprobates. Now I pray that you do that which is not evil not that you should appear approved but that we do that which is honest though you be as reprobates.

    It is for this reason we sing praises to God who alone is able to save us from this body of death.

    God bless

    January 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM Reply
  3. Robert Scarpati #

    Guilt by Association – I have wrestled with the topic of Biblical Separation for years. I believe that on the one hand I have seen those who have misapplied this doctrine, but on the other hand a neglect of a proper application of this doctrine seems to be a major key in the great apostasy that is infecting the body of Christ these days.
    One of the conclusions I have come to, with the help of others in the body of Christ, is realizing that it is correct judgment about the proper application of the doctrine that seems to be the real issue. I understand what you were talking about in the show about the question of whether or not there is guilt by association becoming more confusing. I think that what is confusing is not so much the doctrine but what is and isn’t a proper application of the doctrine.
    So, there can be two errors; one being separating in lovelessness when the Scriptures would direct us to seek to patiently teach and restore (2 Tim. 2:24-26), making more of an effort to have unity in the truth, and the other being not separating when Scripture would not have us be casual with those who are in and/or spreading error. Which of the two approaches is appropriate should be considered on a case by case basis. It’s hard to make a blanket formula. For each case we must be aware of what God’s Word says about love and unity, and also know what it teaches about the seriousness of heresy, apostasy, and separation, and seek for God’s wisdom, in each case, regarding how to properly act in light of the entire counsel of God’s Word (Acts 20:26-27).
    Is there guilt by association? The simple answer is yes – when a believer makes an association that Scripture directs them not make. If a Scriptural command to separate applies to a certain situation and we disobey that command, we are guilty of the disobedience to that command. But the answer is also no, in situations where, with all things considered, Scripture would have directed to be more conciliatory and patient. So the answer to the question about guilt by association depends upon the proper application of the entire counsel of God’s Word to the specie situation being considered.
    Following are some additional thoughts on the matter. There’s a lot more that can be said, but I share some thoughts. Please let me reiterate that we are to remember that Scripture is the Authority. There can be a lot of talk about which approach is proper or about whether or not someone is guilty by association without a sufficient reference to the Scriptures and without a proper seeking to see what it says that bears upon this issue. So please see the Scriptures that are referenced in following. Without God’s Word we are in the dark – Psalm 119:105 – and vulnerable to what seems right in our own eyes and our own understanding – Prov. 3:5-7, Prov. 14:12.
    Although Scripture clearly commands believers to be separate from disorderly and disobedient brethren (2 Thes. 3:6-15), it also directs the man of God to be instructive, and a restorer when possible (2 Tim. 2:24-26, James 5:19-20). So, the question is, “Do we separate and avoid or do we patiently instruct?” Well, in Titus 3:10-11 says to reject a heretic after the first and second admonition. How much prior instruction a person has received and rejected is very relevant to the subject at hand. Therefore, if a certain church leader involved in error has been properly corrected more than twice, then we are not to fellowship with such a one or preach at his church, unless, perhaps, if it is to give a clear, unambiguous correction and rebuke in which there is no confusion that the speaker is not in agreement with the heresies and unscriptural practices.
    Realize that when one is a professing Christian or teaches in the name of Christ, it places them in different camp than unbelievers in terms of how we consider dealing with them. I will not greatly expound on this now, but please see 1 Cor. 5:9-13, Romans 16:17-18, 2 Thes. 3:6-15, and 2 John 7-11 in support of this claim. There is a difference between associating with unbelieving “sinners” as Jesus did, and associating with those who profess Christ. Romans 16:17-18, We must avoid confusing or equating the two, and referencing Jesus’ association with sinners (which was to call them to repentance – ) as a support for association and fellowship with professing believers, including teachers, who are in habitual, unrepented of error. (Please note that Romans 16:17-18 seems to be referring to separation from those who are truly not saved (vs. 18) while 2 Thes. 3:6-15 is speaking about separation from true brethren who are in sin (vs. 15). Therefore, there are situations to separate from unbelieving heretics but also situations, according to God’s holy Word, to separate from true brethren. So knowing whether or not someone is saved is in and of itself not enough information to determine whether or not association is Scriptural.)
    Realize that most believers may agree to general truths but miss the application. If someone preaches at IHOP and says that we are to be led by The Word and not experience (a good admonition), but leaves it unclear that IHOP is guilty of not going by the Scriptures, it might actually be assumed that the person whose ministry your preaching at (in this case IHOP) is not guilty of the error you are referring to. If one goes to an erroneous ministry to correct them, let them not leave room for any misunderstanding regarding the specific concerns of that ministry. Paul was not vague as to what his concern was, but very specific, when he exposed the error of false teachers and erroneous brethren such as Peter, Barnabas, and others. If the trumpet sound is not clear, who will get ready for battle? In these days of great deception and lack of discernment, generally speaking, it’s no time for leaders to be unclear regarding error.
    I suggest more patience, mercy, gentleness, and a willingness to not separate when you don’t know how much the person you are dealing with is aware of their error or had much past correction, done in a loving way. There may be many, including pastors, who simply have not been exposed to a lot of good teaching about what’s going in on the church today by good teaching of discernment discerning people or ministries who will seek to correct them from a pure heart, with a proper spirit. We should not be quick to cut such people off. But after you have graciously, patiently, and lovingly shown relevant scripture to such a person regarding an error they or someone they support are in, and they reject what you say, showing that they don’t properly regard the Scripture, there is a higher level of accountability for that person (to whom more has been given much is required – Luke 12:47-48) and more evidence that the issue is rebellion, and not mere ignorance. So, the more someone has been given proper, patient, gentle instruction and still rejects truth and clings to error (in doctrine and/or practice), the more separation may be appropriate.
    Like I said, there’s a lot more that can be said on this; but hopefully a reminder to look to Scripture and an admonition to seek for wisdom for proper application will, by the grace of God be helpful to the people of God. It does seem that a key issue in the question about the appropriateness of certain associations by Christians with others is appropriate application of Scripture. There are so many different types of scenarios that can come up where there may be a question about whether or not association or separation is appropriate. Perhaps godly Christian leaders and other Christians can discuss this together, seeking God’s wisdom for Scriptural application in prayer together, with Scripture being recognized as the final authority.

    January 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM Reply
  4. Brian #

    My awesome Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church last year went full-on with a curriculum based out of one of Francis Chan's books, in an attempt to encourage us all to become better witnesses for Christ. I was not a fan of this approach, and I have been wary of Mr. Chan as a result.

    So last week, I was getting ready to write to my pastor based on the news of this sermon that is at issue in this post. But before doing so, I actually watched the whole hour-long sermon he gave to the One Thing conference, and instead of being appalled, I was extremely impressed.

    Most of us are probably well aware of the aberrant teachings and practices of this Ihop movement, and I can certainly understand the caution expressed here. But anyone concerned simply must watch this sermon by Mr. Chan before continuing to form opinions about it.

    Almost the entirety of his sermon is spent discussing false teachings and false prophets. He gave two hard-hitting examples out of 1 Kings 13 and 22. If you don't know them, read them. He preached the Gospel, straight-up. He told the attendees to stop looking for magic tricks. He told them that if you want to be deceived, the LORD is only too willing to let you be deceived. We can guess at his motives, but I finished watching this sermon thinking that Mr. Chan was being extremely savvy and giving this conference the Word as it exactly needed to hear it. He admonished them, over and over, to READ THE BIBLE. He certainly by no means delivered a feel-good sermon that would have validated anything erroneous. He was challenging but loving, and I think that that is exactly the way we are supposed to preach, to anyone.

    He straight-up called them the church of Sardis (Revelation 3), which is not a compliment.

    Ihop is known for its round-the-clock prayer and worship. I gather that those who attend there pride themselves on the worship aspect, and the music they sing. So one of the best lines of the night was near the end of the sermon. The band was filing back on stage as Mr. Chan was wrapping things up, and he said, "Maybe the worst thing many of you here could do right now is sing." And then he told them to repent.

    As far as I can gather in my New Testament, we are to take the Gospel to the whole world. It seems to me, after watching this entire sermon, that that is what Mr. Chan did. I'm no longer concerned that he told everyone there that he loves Mike Bickle's heart. In context, that was just buttering up the audience, as any good speaker would do. I'm not alarmed that he didn't come out and yell, "You're all apostates! Mike Bickle's an apostate!" But neither did he endorse anything aberrant. He preached the Word, and he pleaded for repentance. I believe some of Paul's letters do the same thing: They say something encouraging, and then they drill down to error, sometimes at length and quite harshly.

    I'm still not a fan of my church's focus on one of Mr. Chan's books. But I'm now a lot less wary of Mr. Chan. I credit the Holy Spirit with teaching me to judge with "righteous judgment" (John 7:24) about this and actually listen to what was preached. I have a lot of maturing to do in my desire to see the unadulterated Gospel preached, and I love sites like this one for helping me figure it all out. So again, I encourage everyone interested in this post to do an easy search, make themselves comfortable for an hour, and listen to the whole thing.

    God bless,
    Brian

    January 12, 2014 at 12:55 PM Reply

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