Archive | Uncategorized

RSS feed for this section

Some Encouraging Studies

When I am 1) not preaching, and 2) actually in Phoenix, I teach the adult Bible Study class at the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.  Two weeks ago I did a quick study, a rather practical thing, on how to respond to the profaning of marriage in our culture, based upon this blog article.  Here’s the resultant class discussion:

This past Lord’s Day we got back into John 17, but it ended up being a study on the Trinity, again, hopefully, useful:

Throwing this one in…we had technical problems on 12/29 and the AM service did not get recorded.  But, I fired up the audio recorder on my iPad for the PM service.  This is a study on encouragement for the new year.  Well, for any time of year, really!

Michael Brown, Benny Hinn, PC&D, on the Dividing Line

Despite a few technical difficulties we managed to get the program going today with our new, “it’s all ours, nobody else can use it!” theme by the brothers of Greylevel, for which I am so very thankful.  Responded to Michael Brown’s comments from The Line of Fire yesterday, looking again at Benny Hinn, and discussing the idea that Hinn has abandoned his worst teachings from the past.  What would repentance from false teaching look like? Well, it just so happens that is relevant to another topic, that of the PC&D controversy as well.  Hence, we looked at both issues on the program today.

Here is the YouTube link:

Materials for Today’s Dividing Line

Here are some items I plan on referring to during today’s Dividing Line (and hence will be relevant as well to the final posting of the program upon its completion.  The first is another clip from Benny Hinn’s “revival” in Kiev, Ukraine.  The best information I can gather is that this took place in 2012.  The second is the document floating about the Internet signed by PC&D regarding the Baptist Faith and Message.  Both will be relevant in the coming program.

pcdstatement

Calvinist Derangement Syndrome Case #1756: Peter Lumpkins and the Looniest Muslim Apologist

So I was working through the morning “stuff” on line (RSS feeds, emails, cuing up The Briefing) when someone in channel pointed me to another Lumpkins hit piece against yours truly.  Nothing new, same ol’ same ol’ from Petey, until I saw a section that caught my attention:

Consider the arrogant earful one Muslim apologist apparently received from James White after attempting to engage him:

‘You see Nadir, you are not up to par with me, for I am superior, Because you are not up to par with me, you are just like a regular Joe Shmoe caller who calls in AND THAT IS HOW YOU WILL BE TREATED. Joe Shmoes DO NOT get to establish any ground rules. NONE. Get it?  But no worries, I’ll be equitable with you….But Nadir, if you do decide to call, keep one thing in mind: “You are inviting yourself on my show”‘ (//link, all emphasis original)

Now, let’s keep a few things in mind.

1)  Peter Lumpkins has been documented to be a dishonest man, having posted edited videos in his desperation to discredit me.  He has written articles where he takes the side of all of my opponents, even if they are enemies of the Christian faith.  In one, referencing Bart Ehrman, he admits he hasn’t a clue what is even being discussed, but, he’s sure Ehrman “embarrassed” me anyway.  The hypocrisy is astounding.

2)  Peter Lumpkins recently self-printed a little booklet wherein he actually pretended to tell folks everything they need to know about Calvinism.  He has been a vociferous, vocal, but surely not deep, opponent of Reformed theology for quite some time.  In fact, it seems to be his primary motivation even in defending Ergun Caner.  Evidently he thinks like men like Timothy Rogers and has concluded that it is all just a vast Calvo-Islamic conspiracy.  But in any case, his opposition to simple, biblical theology is a major portion of his motivation.

Now, these kinds of biases and bigotries blind Lumpkins to the most basic and obvious truths right in front of his eyes.  Here we have a personal attack upon myself that flies, of course, in the face of debate after debate after debate available in the public arena.  Hours and hours of actual interaction with Muslims all across the world are available to Peter Lumpkins, and they would all demonstrate his thesis to be absurd on its face.  For example, here is a portion from a recent debate with Shabir Ally in South Africa in the masjid in Erasmia:

But does he take these into consideration?  Of course not.  Instead, he quotes from a single Muslim website run by Nadir Ahmed and, upon that basis, engages in more Lumpkinesque ad-hominem argumentation.  [Ad hominem is all Peter has: he cannot interact with my published works, so he has to attack me, personally.]

The rather embarrassing problem for Lumpkins is again his choice of sources.  Nadir Ahmed is the worst of the worst.  The looniest of the looniest.  An embarrassment to thinking Muslims all over.  In fact, when I did, finally, debate Ahmed in Virginia in 2008 (video below—wouldn’t it be helpful if Caner could provide videos like this?) Nadir only used 7 of his opening 20 minutes and sat down.  He behaved so childishly, so badly, that the Muslims in the audience were yelling at him by the end of the evening.  He’s just that bad.  Here is the video:

Nadir Ahmed had showed up at my church on a Sunday night to challenge me to debate, he was so desperate.  He was given his one chance, and he proved that what I had been saying all along was true.

In any case, Lumpkins believes Nadir Ahmed.  Lumpkins doesn’t believe all the other Muslims out there who are saying Ergun Caner is making things up and is ignorant of Islam, but on this issue, he’s sure Nadir Ahmed is correct.  Even though, ironically, Ergun Caner claimed to have debated Nadir Ahmed on the crucifixion, and even Nadir will tell you that never happened.  But hey, what is a little inconsistency when you have to fight the hordes of Calvinists at the SBC back door, right?  It clearly doesn’t bother Lumpkins at all.

But here’s the real problem: if you actually look at what Nadir wrote, well…he is making this up.  He is not quoting me.  Here’s the old webpage from which Lumpkins took his killer information.  Note there is no attribution, no reference.  I never said those words.  Nadir is whining and complaining about not debating, and so he does what Nadir often does—he makes things up on the fly.  The reality is, I never said these words.  Lumpkins is promoting a myth that is obvious (to anyone who knows Nadir), but hey, what does that matter?  Enemy of my enemy and all that.  Notice the URL Nadir has on that page.  In our new blog format that translates to this page.  That is what Nadir is responding to, and this whole paragraph is his tortured “interpretation” of my actual words.  He did the same in an earlier post, found here.  Note his words:

He started posing riddles to me which can be summed up something like this:

No, I refuse to debate,

but you are inviting yourself on my show for your views to state,

But don’t ask for fair and balanced discussion involving fair time because that would mean it is a debate!

Note the attempt at poetry?  He was trying to do something similar in the stuff Lumpkins is quoting as if I actually said these things to Nadir Ahmed.

See, if Mr. Lumpkins had an even semi-Christian commitment to truthfulness, he would have taken the time to actually watch my debate with Nadir Ahmed.  Despite his outrageous behavior, I managed to hold it together, despite a massive amount of provocation.  As I said, even the Muslims were getting on him by the end of the evening.  And had Lumpkins done this, he would have concluded that Nadir Ahmed is not a reliable source of information.  But again, this post is about Calvinist Derangement Syndrome (CDS), and hence it serves once again to illustrate this dangerous condition.  CDS can cause someone to trust the looniest of Muslims, who has given so many examples of his disconnection with reality (I am not the only one to have encountered the man, to be sure.  Check out a few other examples here and here) that anyone would hesitate to accept anything he has to say at face value.  But, what’s more, he took an unattributed statement and simply assumed it was accurate, without, of course, checking it out.  But, this is the same man who can watch Ergun Caner on video tape lying through his teeth over and over and over again, and ignore it.  CDS often has a much deeper, more serious, underlying condition associated with it.

The Anointing: Benny Hinn vs. the Bible

He must have been having a bad day.  I mean, it’s tough being Benny Hinn.  Penthouse suites and private jets and limos and fine cuisine—it’s gotta get tiring after a while, doesn’t it?  All the security and hassle with being a superstar.  Gotta give the guy some slack, right? In this clip Hinn is in Kiev, Ukraine a few years ago.  And, we are told, “the anointing” fell, or, was distributed, by Hinn himself.  And his suit jacket, it seems.  And the appropriate music, in the appropriate key, with the appropriate bodies strewn about the stage at the proper places, shaking and gyrating at the appointed times as well.  And in charge of it all is Benny Hinn, large and in charge.  Barking orders at his staff, security people, and the crowd.  Evidently, the Spirit responds to Benny’s orders, too, as he sets up each new experience of the “anointing,” which he defines as…tingling in the right hand that he has had you raising for like five minutes.  (Try that at home—it works every time!).  Here is the clip:

[After posting this I saw the screen capture for the video above.  Folks, never, ever underestimate the power of what you see in that picture.  There are men and women who LIVE for that kind of adoration, that kind of control over others.]

There is so much that can (and should) be said about this kind of event/experience/teaching/debacle.  It is not wrong, my friends, just because it looks silly and strange and odd.  Many dismiss this just because it is so far outside of our experience.  That is not the problem.  The problem is it is so utterly, thoroughly opposed to everything the Bible says about the ministry of the Holy SpiritWhether the world finds it laughable or not really doesn’t matter (they think the very Puritan, plain worship services at my church are laughable, too, just not in quite the same fashion).  It is not that there is intense emotion displayed by some (how many are genuine and how many are plants there to get others “started” is impossible to determine).  The real problem needs to be identified: you have a multi-millionaire standing on stage getting a huge paycheck for promulgating a shallow message wrapped up in the promise of prosperity and healing pretending to control the very Spirit of God who then “anoints” people in a fashion and by a means utterly outside of what the Spirit Himself has defined in the God-breathed Scriptures.  The result is not παιδεία nor is it τάξις nor is it σωφρονισμός—three Greek terms that cluster around the vital theme of “discipline, sober-mindedness, order,” in the New Testament.  And this is what the Spirit brings.  He does not bring chaos and confusion (ἀκαταστασίας, which is what we see in this video, 1 Corinthians 14:33), He brings order and discipline.  Of course, that kind of “anointing” does not sell books or result in large offerings, so that is problematic.

Does the Bible know anything of an anointing that can be “received” through the yelling of the word “fire” and the waving of a garment (accompanied by choreographed music, lighting, choirs, etc.)?  No, it does not.  Most of the appearances of the term (χρίω; χρῖσμα, τος) have to do, of course, with the Messiah, the anointed one.  But it does appear in reference to believers:

The One Who establishes us together with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.  (2 Corinthians 1:21–22)

This anointing is defined as the work of God and it is clearly connected with the dwelling of the Spirit in the believers, resulting in their union with the body of Christ.  It is not some ecstatic secondary experience that comes later, it is primary, foundational, and universal.  It is not something offered at revivals, it is definitional to what makes a person a Christian in the first place.  It is not mediated by traveling evangelists, it is the direct and powerful work of God in the salvation of his elect people.  Likewise, the phraseology appears in John’s epistle:

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.  (1 John 2:20–21)

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.  (1 John 2:26–27)

In each of these texts the anointing is something already possessed by the believers.  They are not going to special meetings trying to get it; instead, their very standing in Christ is dependent upon the fact that they already possess this anointing.  Clearly, this is the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, who is the downpayment, as Paul said, given by the Father promising the conclusion of the work God in redeeming the believer.  It bears no resemblance whatsoever to tingling fingers and waving Armani.

So what is the true result of the presence of the Spirit?  It can basically be summed up as “the opposite of what you see at a Benny Hinn crusade meeting.”  It isn’t flopping bodies and people being blown over.  It is not Benny Hinn tossing the Holy Spirit around like a beachball.  Let’s look to the Word:

For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  (Colossians 2:5–6)

The Spirit produces order, orderliness, stability, steadiness, not the wild swings of emotion and experience that mark so much of “Christendom” today.

In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  (1 Timothy 4:6–8)

The believer engages in personal discipline, orderliness, purposeful sober-mindedness with a goal towards godliness, in their lives.  This is not the result of being blown over by a Holy Spirit blast from Benny’s coat, it is the result of the Spirit’s work, making the Word come alive in the heart.  [This is another major problem with the Hinn phenomenon: his message is never deep, never exegetical, never communicating truth from the Word; it is emotional, shallow, brief and secondary to the “main show” yet to come.]

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,  (2 Timothy 1:7–8)

What is the spiritual result of being indwelt by the Spirit of God?  We do not have a spirit of timidity or fear; we have a spiritual orientation of “power, love, and discipline.”  Our charismatic friends read a ton of extra stuff into the word “power” here, but may I suggest that the power here referenced has to do with power in striving for godliness and against sin and in remaining faithful in the midst of tribulation?  That is has nothing at all to do with power as in miracles and tongues and healings and all the rest?  The power Paul is talking about is the power to suffer, is it not, as the very next verse says?  It most assuredly is.  And that same spiritual work of God makes us disciplined people, men and women consistent in our striving for godliness, and in our life of repentance when that abiding sin manifests itself.

So when I stare in wonder, and a good degree of disgust, at what I see in the above video, I do so not because of its “strangeness” but because of the obvious error, the falsehood, and the fact that especially those young people went from that place deceived and robbed.  They went into an unbelieving world as sheep sheared by the Hinnmeister.  They were not empowered to engage the world properly and with the sword of the Spirit; they were, in fact, damaged goods, less able to withstand the onslaught of the world, for they had been directed toward emotional experience and tingling fingers rather than toward the discipline that comes from the Spirit of God.  And that is what makes Hinn so reprehensible.