Documenting False Doctrines And The Charismatic Passivity Of What Is Counterfeit
After watching the live stream of the Strange Fire conference held at Grace Community Church under the leadership of John MacArthur I have noticed some of the ridiculous and fallacious arguments (or accusations) that the Charismatic/Pentecostal/Mystical proponents are using on blogs and comments sections of reports about the conference. I will mention one claim I have heard for many years about understanding truth from error. Or what a good Christian should focus on when knowing true theology. I even had a pastor use this type of argument on me when I was describing heretics or naming them off at a bible study we were having before I went to do a short term mission with his church. The argument is summed up like this:
“Stop worrying about who is a false teacher or what belief is false. Just focus on what is true. Do you know how the government figures out what money is real and what is counterfeit? They focus on the REAL money! They don’t study the counterfeit money to know what real currency looks like! So it is the same with the Christian faith! Don’t focus on what you think is false doctrine or counterfeit, focus on the truth or what is good in the bible!”
Now there seems to be some valid point made in that kind of an argument. Yes it is very, very, very important to study real currency instead of only focusing on fraudulent bills produced by counterfeit money rings; because it is obvious you won’t know what real money looks like in all of its detail if you do not actually look at correct U.S. bills. The Secret Service obviously has spent a lot of time studying real money created by the U.S. Treasury. But it is simply not true to say that the Secret Service does not actually study fake bills or understand how they are made. They do! They study the techniques, materials, and ways such counterfeit bills are printed. Thew know past techniques, current techniques that are causing problems in our economy, as well as keep an eye out for future false bills with new techniques used in their creation. Also, not only do they find fake bills a lot, they also prosecute criminals who produce them and throw them in jail. They call them out and say, “You are under arrest for counterfeit money.” Then they go to court and are tried and put in jail. The fake currency is examined to be fake, then it is destroyed, and some is probably kept for future reference to document. This is obvious. Now if we truly use the Secret Service analogy to Christianity it would be a lot different than what many Charismatics or “open but cautious” people are explaining.
Now applying this analogy about the reality of what is counterfeit and real to the Bible is much the same. It is simply not true that to really understand truth from error all you should do is study the bible itself and what is good in itself. No you must examine every doctrine that people claim and view them and compare them to the bible. So you actually DO have to look for, be aware of, figure out the techniques used to propagate such false teaching, and understand why it is false. You cannot just ignore them and only look for the true things someone has said. Just because someone is a liar does not mean they can never, or never will say something true. It is possible that people who lie or promote a false teaching also say what is true from time to time and mix truth with error. This is common sense.
You should call counterfeit spirituality out to keep the church pure much like the Secret Service has to keep the economy full of pure and true dollar bills by separating the fake ones. Also, Christians should call out, document and punish heretics and false teachers by naming them and kicking them out of the church. The whole argument of being divisive is just illogical. The Secret Service cannot unite with false money or say “Hey lets not hurt peoples feelings by separating fake money and also reporting criminals.” No! They separate it and report criminals! So Christians if using such an analogy in a realistic way should also separate false teachings and false prophets and teachers who produce such teachings! This is common sense. You cannot avoid being divisive when it comes to counterfeit money and you most certainly should not worry about being divisive when it comes to false teachings that are counterfeit to what the bible teaches. I think any rational person would agree.
The Bible is full of identifiable things, judgments, and divisions of truth from error. 1 Corinthians 11:19 talks about separation and identifiable things of who is a true believer and who is not. Paul wrote, “There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that the approved among you may be recognized.” This speaks to such a similar thing as today with the false miracles and supernatural occurrences (some demonic and others just fake). This is similar to the Secret Service dividing fake money from real money, and the true Church of Christ separating false believers and false teachings from what is truly found in the Bible.
The Charismatic movement is notorious for producing counterfeit spiritual currency into the true Church of Jesus Christ and causing confusion. Such promoters of charismatic experiences use a similar argument as the counterfeit money argument. I saw a blog post by a charismatic who is viciously angry at John MacArthur that used this “counterfeit money” argument. Adrian Warnock said,
“…surely spending my focus on highlighting the good things is a better use of my time? If people are taught to recognise (sic) real money by studying it, when fake currency turns up they will identify it in an instant. I am surprised how much time some of these folks seems (sic) to spend hunting out increasingly bizzare (sic) YouTube videos. Surely building and declaring a true model of the Christian life is a better use of our time?“
Notice how he is assuming we should never point out or look for false doctrines, and claiming that anyone who finds bizarre videos showing the charismatic blasphemies committed (that other self proclaimed “responsible charismatics” are not calling out) is behaving badly. The context of this quote was in response to John MacArthur stating at the conference that there has been no good out of charismatic faith and ministry. But it remains a fact that ignoring such evil behavior that has been displayed by obvious heretics, false prophets, demon possessed loons, and greedy charlatans is actually extremely detrimental to the cause of Christ. It is a far greater good to call out such people to repent, or kick them out of ministry, than simply trying hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings by trying not to be divisive. As John MacArthur states in the Strange Fire Conference “Truth in its very nature is divisive!”
More Christians should keep to faithfully examining Scriptures while also scrutinizing and separating, as well as sometimes finding false teachers, calling them out and separating these counterfeits with their counterfeit spirituality and experiences, away from what is true. Also, to warn people of such wicked behavior and such wicked men who propagate such blasphemy and heresy! It is our Christian duty much as it is the Secret Service’s duty to separate counterfeit bills from real currency!
I thank God that Grace Community Church had the Strange Fire Conference and I was encouraged by the Lord to know that there are still a multitude of people who do not embrace the charismatic and Pentecostal false beliefs and behaviors as well as the occult mysticism that has invaded evangelicalism. It is encouraging to know it is okay to call this heresy out and stand against it openly and not have to be quiet! Cessationism is biblical truth! The unfortunate thing is young people my age and younger want more experience, and entertainment and action instead of honest to God truth. The future looks bleak but at least there is an effort to fight it still today.