Dangerous Discernings

A Pharisee.

I wrote this article on July 15th, 2008.  Sadly it is still relevant.  Allan

As a young Christian I lived in the days when many were looking for the Rapture of the Church.  It’s no secret that the year 1981 was seen as the latest that the church would be here by so many people in the Calvary Chapel movement.

There were books, videos, and teaching that taught us to look up, for our redemption was near.  Reading the daily newspaper seemed to indicate that we’d gone about as far as we could go.  The earth was wrought with every type of sin and false religions were rampant.

I recall taking people to church to see movies such as “A Thief In The Night” that drove home the fact that the end was near and you needed to get right with God.  Many folks walked forward to be saved after seeing the movies and hearing the Gospel message.  Those were exciting times.  Little did many of us think we would still be here thirty years later.  But here we are.

As we look at the news today we see how wrong we were back in the mid to late 70′s when we thought things couldn’t get much worse .  With the advent of the internet and cable television we really don’t need a morning paper as it’s old news by the time it’s delivered to our homes.  I won’t list all of the terrible things that are going on in the world but we now realize how much worse things could and have become.  Many of us are concerned about the world we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. Things certainly have changed.

As Christians, we aren’t without hope.  We serve the living God and He promises to never leave or forsake us.  He has given His Spirit to indwell us and give us the power to live in this fallen world.  He has left us His Word as a guide to live the Christian life and how others might enter into that life.

Most importantly, He gave us His only begotten Son to fulfill the law, die on the cross, and to rise from the dead in His physical body three days later.  He then ascended to Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for each of us.  We have a hope beyond this life and it’s real and it’s forever.

We see the beginning of the New Testament church in the book of Acts when God’s Spirit fell upon those in the upper room and we see Peter preach the first sermon where three thousand were added to the church in one day.  What a glorious beginning!

History tells us that glorious beginning wasn’t to last.  Persecution came and Christians were killed in the most heinous ways.  Those saints died with the name of Jesus on their lips.  They would not deny Him.

It wasn’t long before the purity of the Gospel message was being challenged on every front.  Quite often, it was the person of Jesus who was the focal point of these attacks.  He still is to this day.

Every cult and ‘ism that comes along will tell you that Jesus is not God the Son, second person of the Trinity.  They may say He is the son of God, but what they are really saying is He is not God the Son, but something a bit lower.  That will always be a false Jesus.  The majority of people in our world do not believe the Gospel message but choose instead to embrace something different.

Through the centuries God has raised up men and women to defend Biblical truths.  They serve as Watchmen for the church as they discern false teachings and in turn educate the church so we won’t be taken in by a lie.

Some have been raised up to expose error in  today’s church.  That is an important duty as we know that false teachers will and have infiltrated the church. We need to be made aware of this as these false teachers are quite cunning in their deception as they peddle their blasphemous teachings.  God bless those who look out for the spiritual welfare of the church.

Sadly, something has happened along the way when it comes to discerning what is truth and what is error.  That something has been individuals and ministries who have gone too far with their search for that which they deem as false, dangerous, and at times even non-Christian.  As a result, nobody is safe as someone has deemed them or their ministry dangerous.  Many Christians are left wondering what exactly is a safe church or ministry as so many have been ‘exposed’ in one fashion or other.

Some well-meaning people and some who are not so well-meaning in the church have decided to ‘expose’ the myth of Christian counseling and the use of medication to help those in the church who are suffering mentally.  As the number of books and ministries who have deemed the world of mental illness as it relates to the church continues to grow very innocent Christians are stigmatized.  These individuals include Christian counselors, Christian psychiatrists and Christians who suffer with a mental illness.

Christian counselors are painted as taking their cues from godless individuals who had no room for God in their lives.  They supposedly go about telling us we need more self-esteem and to love ourselves more.

They claim sin is never mentioned but these ‘sold out’ counselors find ways to pepper their counseling sessions with a few feel good scripture verses while doing nothing but further damaging their Christian patients. Hurting Christians are seen as cash cows being fed counsel that is not Biblical and therefore powerless to offer anything of value.  They are accused of demeaning the Word of God as they have elevated the ways of man to the same level as the Bible itself.

Christian psychiatrists are seen as passing out mind altering medication like candy to people who don’t need it.  Their vocation has been likened to voodoo and witchcraft creating a population of drug addicts that provide them a lucrative income.  Their clients are seen as victims more than anything else.

It would be unfair not to mention that there are counselors and psychiatrists who advertise themselves as Christian who are guilty of the things that are being used to broad brush ALL Christians who make their living as counselors or psychiatrists.  At the same time it is unfair to think that all Christians who counsel or offer psychiatric services for a living are compromised in any fashion.

Where this really hits home for untold numbers of Christians suffering with mental illness is that their faith in God is now up for speculation and for some, outright judgment.  The fruit of the above is why this blog exists.

We live in a day when science demonstrates that mental illness is a PHYSICAL issue just as cancer or the common flu.  Christians who would never think of calling the faith of a cancer sufferer into question don’t understand the damage they inflict upon the mentally ill when the same love is not extended to them.

Biblical discernment is desperately needed in the church today.  We need to protect each other from the spiritual dangers that lurk around every corner.  The enemy of our souls is deceiving untold millions with his various perversions of Biblical truth.  We need to stand up for the truth of the Gospel no matter the cost.  Nobody wins when the church becomes the target of the church.  God has called us to higher things.