Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, Part 4Email Brigade News Report | On Solid Rock Resources | Up
By Marsha West
The gospel's most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world. - Phil Johnson
Christendom has its fair share of doublespeak within its ranks. Conservative Christian apologists and those involved in the counter cult and discernment ministries who dare to expose apostates are accused of being divisive. For example, if a conservative attempts to combat the spread of the social justice gospel that emphasizes good deeds without the power of the gospel, their liberal critics cry "Pharisee!" Implying that these critics are Pharisees is another way of saying that they are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and unloving -- and yes, even intolerant and bigoted.
Word Faith (false) teachers use "heresy hunter" to define the opposition. But in reality discernment ministries are "truth-seekers."
What is heresy and what is a heresy hunter? According to Let Us Reason Ministries:
Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles teachings -- the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Biblical heresy is often a denial of the core beliefs held in the Church that are founded on the Bible. In this sense it applies to groups which reject basic Christian doctrines and separate themselves from the historic church. (Source)
Most mature Christians recognize heresy when it rears its ugly head. But when they speak out against prominent false teachers who are leading the Body of Christ astray, their bamboozled followers invariably play the Matthew 7:1 card:
Judge not, lest you be judged.
This is doublespeak for: Shut the heck up!
First of all, discernment demands that we make judgments. As my pastor, Stan Way, said in a recent sermon, faithful Christians live their lives in a new center of gravity - the biblical worldview. Serious Christians must stand up and speak the truth with conviction and courage. We must be willing to lose our life for Christ and the gospel. In other words, for truth! Further, we must be willing to be treated with contempt by the world. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).
I don't know about you, but I'm not ashamed and I will not be bullied into shutting up!
Digressing from Doublespeak: Pointing Out the Pitfalls of Postmodern Christianity
Unorthodox ideas have made huge inroads into churches in a whole host of ways. These ideas have predominately been put forth by progressive/liberal theologians, scholars and pastors. As well, unorthodox ideas are taught in some seminaries, Christian colleges/universities and churches. It's astonishing the amount of outright heresy that is found in today's contemporary Bibles, Bible resources, study guides and so on. Even more troubling, many bestselling "Christian" books contain rank heresy! Two current examples are William P. Young's The Shack which has taken the place of the Bible in some church "Bible studies" and Joel Osteen's latest "it's all about me" book, It's Your Time. These men have made millions of dollars off apostate books! Sadly, undiscerning Christians are the ones lining Smilin' Joel's pockets. And as long as folks buy his books, he'll continue churning them out.
For profit (in most cases), so-called Christian publishers and booksellers, both online and in mall stores, promote an array of unbiblical material for public consumption. Even much of contemporary Christian music is completely devoid of Christian truth. (Read my article on contemporary Christian music here.)
As well "Christian" entertainment is in a sad state of affairs. Not surprisingly, some Christian celebrities' theology is way out in left field. But despite this, their CDs, DVDs, TV and radio broadcasts are promoted all over the world as if what they spout is the gospel truth.
There's more. False teaching is widespread at Christian conferences, seminars and retreats. But you don't have to go off for an entire weekend to be plied with apostasy. Believe it or not, Bible studies, prayer meetings and home fellowship groups often provide a venue where one can be peppered with such things as Eastern Mysticism and New Age Spirituality. To be fair, this exposure often comes from well-intentioned leaders who just don't know any better. Jesus said, "My people perish for lack of knowledge."
Millions of so-called followers of Jesus Christ are involved in unbiblical, immoral, unhealthy, ungodly practices. And they don't even know it - or perhaps they simply don't care. You ask, "How can this happen to Spirit-filled believers?" Cover your ears. I'm going to shout the answer:
MANY BELIEVERS DON'T HAVE ONE OUNCE OF DISCERNMENT!!!
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit," warns John, "but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
Most Christians ignore John's warning. (Mainly because they have no clue that he even gave the warning…because they fail to read the Bible.) Instead they just sort of go with the flow. Those who take the time to "test the spirits" are less likely to be snookered by wily televangelists.
Noted pastor A.W. Tozier believed in testing the spirits:
Any of it [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I'd ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, 'I'm awfully sorry, you don't bring any references with you'
The progressive/liberal view of conservatives is that they're "unenlightened." Spiffy word, right? But what does it actually mean? It's doublespeak for closed-minded...oblivious…primitive…backward.
Referring to a brother or sister in Christ as unenlightened is the same as calling him/her an ignoramus…isn't it?
Chris Rosebrough gave the following definition of a Christian after reflecting on the sermons he reviewed from progressive churches such as Rick Warren's Saddleback, Bill Hybels' Willowcreek, Rob Bell's Mosaic and several others. A Christian is:
Someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well adjusted self-actualized risk taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a 'no regrets' life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage with better than average sex, is an attentive parent, is celebrating recovery from all his hurts, habits and hang ups, practices Biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at church, tithes off the gross and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world nation.
Having attended several seeker-friendly churches I can tell you from personal experience that Chris is right on!