Thursday, December 17, 2009

False Doctrine - allowed

A few weeks ago, I got a text saying that the latest Hillsong album has been released and I was enjoined to support it saying "remember we are in this together". This is probably a pun on the title of the new CD etc., I am not sure anymore, I am not a fan. It implied to me that I should buy it. It came from a Pentecostal pastor.

I must have been kept in their list. Years ago I was active in ministerial fellowships around Melbourne, that was back in the days as a Charismaniac. But almost 5 years ago, I wrote to my Pentecostal pastor friends of my change in confession and how I believe the Book of Concord is the correct exposition of Scripture. Amazing, no body asked me what happened, why the change? Nope, none of that.

When I got the text, I immediately text back to the sender saying - "I do not buy into that Hillsong stuff". You would think I would get a reply asking, why? Nah.

The same thing happened a few months ago, I was sent an email by an old friend promoting Joyce Meyer's and Joel Osteen's teachings and I replied, saying they have false doctrine and did I get an inquiry why I said what I said? You know the answer.

In present day Evangelia/Charismania, there is no such thing as "false doctrine". When you mention such a thing, it does not register. They have no such category. Everything is ok, I am ok, and you are ok, ok? This completely gets me stumped. Mention false doctrine and they would not know what to do with it. They do not know how to process the remark, it is even a wonder if they think they should process it anyway. Anything goes in this crazy world.

So I go back to that time when I wrote my minister friends of my change in conviction, when I became Lutheran. I was just thinking, what if the letter that I sent said - I have become a JW or a Mormon, would people in my previous circle care to dialogue with me?

There are a few possibilities why nobody dared to speak to me. Either they think I was going to false doctrine and they are happy for me to be lost. Or they are happy for me because I am leaving some false doctrine behind and going to something true. Or, they just do not care about my soul (and probably their's too).

There are more possibilities than these but these ones come to my mind.


Melanchthon said...

I can only share anecdotal material, but I've received the same reaction frequently from evangelical/pentecostal friends. It seems as if doctrine does not concern them in the least as long as they got their Jesus, CCM, Bible, and rapture. I don't get it.

L P said...

Pr. Jon.

This is the enigma of the whole Charismatic deal. They entertain no skepticism, they believe for sure, but they believe anything!

It is the mystical experience that counts. They do not bother to check if that Jesus they are experiencing is the same Jesus in Scripture. They entertain no possibility that their experience might be a creation of their own inner self.

I did an experiment once, I asked one of their long time member about Justification, he did not know what the term meant.

Try not to choke on that, but that is true! But they can sing those girly Jesus is my boyfriend songs from the heart, you bet yah.


Steve Martin said...

I have a few Evangelical friends that will not discuss theology with me.

You tell them things that are antithetical to what they've been taught, but when you point out in Scripture why you believe what you believe, they jsut cock their head to one side like a confused cocker spaniel and then move on to discussing something else.

It is an odd phenomenon.

To be fair, there are many who will engage, to their credit.

L P said...


What is even more strange is that with me, my friends happen to be pastors and they won't discuss theology with me.

It seems the unity revolves on the commonality of experience.

This who engage are those who have been thoughtful and have reflected on some disconnects that they have been realizing.


joel in ga said...

This situation provides a great opportunity for Lutherans to advertise themselves as rigorously Biblical in doctrine and liturgical in practice. There are Christians in these fluffy churches who are looking for something more meaty.

Steve Newell said...

Many Christians read the bible, but they don't study the doctrine of the Church. This starts with the pastors of many churches. They either cannot or refuse to teach the doctrines of the Faith. What LP is writing out is the result of this.

Could you image if either Mr. Osteen or Mrs. Meyer was interviewed on Issues, Etc? It would be interesting to hear Todd Wilken ask them questions about their theology.

L P said...

Joel/Steve N.

Some laymen are interested in meaty stuff but my pastor friends have adopted mushroom style pastoral philosophy.

Heard of mushroom style?

Keep them in the dark and feed them cr#p.

So long as the sheep comes each sunday to drop their tithe, what do they care?

They won't admit this is their philosophy but their actions betray them.


Steve Newell said...


Do you think that many pastors are spiritually "lazy" and they really don't want to work through the tough issues that we must face when teaching doctrine?

L P said...

Hi Steve N.

This shallow level Christianity is self propagated in Evangelia & Charismania.

Consider how one becomes a pastor in charismatic circles, the requirement is that the person has had a "baptism of the spirit" experience. They are not required to be trained, none of that. So long as the person can command a crowd, these denominations will ordain the person.

They shun education and so the propagate splits and spiritual abuse.

So these pastors do not know or even heard what hermeneutics is, no appreciation of church history, because mystical experience trumps doctrine.

Steve, not only are they lazy, they do not really have competence to do it. It is a matter of expediency.

Watch how they prepare a sermon, they have to look at inner experience, so called inner promptings of the "Holy Spirit", Joel Osteen is typical of them.

With the kind of splits I have seen in Charismania, I can say their splits are more frequent and more devastating than in Reformation churches.

Let me tell of an actual story. Just before I got shunned by my pastor friends, one of them asked me to preach for him while he went on vacation.

Knowing now Law and Gospel, I gave one on Mark 2. After the end of the service, one lady, with tears in her eyes came to me, she said : I have been coming in this church for more than 10 years now, and each time I came, I bring my burdens (of sin) and I take them home with me. Today I go home without them. She got the Gospel right. With a smile on her face but yet tears in her eyes, and with joy, I said to her, go in peace dear sister, Jesus died for your sins, take that home with you, it is yours.

Needless to say, I never got invited back to that church to preach again. It has been over 3 years now and the pastor has totally stopped talking to me.


Steve Newell said...


It's sad that the Gospel is offensive in a "church".

That leads to another thought: Can a organization be called Church if they refuse to proclaim the gospel of Christ?

L P said...



What is happening is some social gathering with a mention of Jesus here and there but I would not call it church. It is like a social club with some Christian talk as a side item.

Luther referred to the RC as the synogogue of satan.

The referrence seems applicable to these as well.

It is hard saying but it is true.


matthias said...

Very interesting . read a book entitled"People in Glass houses" and you get ashamedofbeing Called Christian ,if you followed Hillsong and their trendy Pastors Brian and BobbyHouston.Is it acult??Especially when they are advertised onLight FM down here "hear Pastors Brian and Bobby Houston and the wholeHillsong team"
This book details the way the Church treated one of itsformer mUSIC pastors quite shabbily.
"Thanks Brian for your cabaret show
And if we watch, prosperity will flow
Thanks Brian for preaching well
But where is the old style Gospel""

L P said...


Well what can I say? This group has been froth with scandal and how many times have they gone through damage control?

Are they not superstars?

They have an intoxicating message, something that feeds your fleshly side, who would not get hooked on that?


matthias said...

Fleshly side. The girls in the band at hillsong,i have been told by a gay friend,exude sexuality. Um Baal worship or a sin of the Nicolatians in the making

L P said...


Just observe the kind of performance they do on the platform.

For people who promote being spirit filled, the whole setup is quite sensual.