Excuse Me Dr. Piper

by Mike Ratliff

If anyone teaches a different doctrine which neither agrees with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he has become conceited, having understood nothing, but having a morbid craving for controversies and disputes over words, out of which comes envy, strife, evil speaking, evil-suspicions, constant friction among those who are depraved in mind and having become bereft of the truth, thinking godliness is the means of gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-5 translated from the NA27 Greek text)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a trap and lusts, many foolish and harmful, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For a root of all evils is the love of money. It is through this craving that some were led away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11 translated from the NA27 Greek text)

Excuse me Dr. Piper. I was once a Southern Baptist. I was a Bible teacher and Deacon in local church not far from where I live now. A couple of years before we parted ways, my Sunday school director gave me a Christmas present. It was your book Don’t Waste Your Life. To be honest, that was the first time I had heard of you. I read the book over the next couple of months. I received more of your books as gifts from other people over the next few years. 

When our church’s leadership decided to go Purpose Driven in 2006, I was the only one in leadership who put up a fight against it. I even used some of your Gospel material in that defense showing how the Purpose Driven paradigm dummies the gospel down or waters it down to the point that it becomes a man-focused sales pitch rather than what it should be, which is all about God and His glory.

That stance against the PDC take-over of that church was costly. My wife and I left and never went back when it was made plain that they considered me a threat and that since I would not submit to the authority of the Pastor and his selected leaders in this, there was no room for me there in any capacity. That was also the beginning of this ministry.

I have sought nothing more since 2006 in this ministry than telling the truth to all who will listen about the decay and downgrade going on in the Church. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven paradigm is a huge part of that. My friends and I keep up with his daily “Tweets” and what he writes and says and nothing has really changed. He still misquotes the Bible (eisegesis) in an attempt to make it support some point he is trying to make. If he can’t do that using a reliable translation, he switches to a suspect one like The Message in order to “make it fit.”

In any case, I am sure you are aware of all of that. I have some questions for you concerning these things in light of your attempts to validate Rick Warren and his ministry to the rest of the Church by inviting him to your Pastor’s conference last year then having it hosted by him this year at Saddleback Valley Baptist Church. Also, I watched your interview you did with him. Also, in this post, I clearly show that Rick Warren has no respect for God’s Word and uses it out of context to support his unbiblical teachings. This is just one example. This style is his marker. This is his way.

Now, in light of these things plus very clear scriptural direction from the Apostle Paul as I translated from 1 Timothy 6 above, as well in countless other places given to us in scripture I have been inundated from countless readers and friends to approach you and, somehow, determine what is going on. There is much anxiety about this. Your response would be appreciated.

First, you know the gospel. You preach it. You are doctrinally sound yet you are partnering with a man who is none of those things. In fact, his very ministry has caused much harm, much damage to other ministries and churches and families because of the hostile takeovers done by his followers of once solid local churches, turning them into store fronts for the Purpose Driven paradigm. People want to know from you, why you are doing this.

Second, along these same lines, you are also in close relationship with Mark Driscoll who is now claiming to hear verbally and directly from God. That is a clear attack on Sola Scriptura as you well know. Once subjectivity enters into Doctrine then you have the mess that is the Roman Catholic Church. What one claims to have heard from God is then placed above the Word and before long; tradition and position outweigh it or are placed above it. Matt Chandler of your own Gospel Coalition is claiming the same things. I have been asked to ask you to make a statement about your position on this.

Third, I know you are close to C.J. Mahaney. I believe he is a godly man. I also believe he has erred in moving too far into his stance on holiness. Look what happened with his relationships within his own ministry when they started debating on whether he was humble enough or not. What is your stance on that Dr. Piper?

Fourth, what is your position on Spiritual Formation as is held by Dallas Willard?

Fifth, what is your position on The Federal Vision? I listened to a debate not long ago between an Arminian and a Calvinist, but the Calvinist made all his points from a Federal Vision perspective and I was shocked. Gone was the solid Biblical exegesis that defeats Arminian proof-texting. No, it was all traditions and just another form of proof-texting in defense. It was quite sad. In any case, some have approached me and have suggested that Tim Keller is a proponent of the Federal Vision. I know he is your friend and is D.A. Carson’s friend as well. It is so hard for a Baptist to get his mind around the Covenant Theology perspectives then have the Federal Vision complexities added to it. It seems to make it just a large mass of man-made religiosity rather than the simple Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What is your take on that?

I know you are a very busy man Dr. Piper, but I pray that God will give you the time and opportunity to answer these questions.

Soli Deo Gloria!

103 thoughts on “Excuse Me Dr. Piper

  1. Thank you for posing these very concerning questions that many of us have re: John Piper. He seems to be justifying Rick Warren along with condoning mystic spirituality (spiritual disciplines/formation.. which are additions to God’s Word) along with many other grieving stances contrary to scripture (Federal Vision, 6 day creation also?)

    What is going on here, Mr Piper? Who are you anymore? 8- (


  2. I am so glad that someone is saying something about this. It just verifies the biblical metephor of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Even the most godly men cannot see the claws and teeth under the garb of sheepskin. It baffles me how silent people are even if they do see it. As one who came from a PDC that I attended as an unbeliever I can tell you that their philosophy of ministry opposes the biblical gospel. After I was regenerated when I wanted to start tell others in my church about repentance and the forgiveness of sins found in Christ my pastor asked me not to. Why? Because it offends them and would drive them away from God, he said. As for CJ mahaney. I caught him twisting scripture in certain subjects regarding church leadership. However, I don’t think he is in the same category as Warren. At least CJ is taking steps to evaluate himself. Warren has not changed despite the loving attempts to confront him with his sin. I don’t understand Dr Piper. I was always a little uncomfortable with some of his material, but thought of him as on our side of the reformation. He seems to be reckless at this point in who he is endorsing. He needs to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. I bet it is hard to be a high profile pastor.
    By the way, I am one night away from finishing Greek 1 & 2 at RTS. Never thought I would like learning the biblical language so much. I am going to start translating the Gospel of Mark on Saturday.


  3. Thanks for the comment Keith. I agree with you that it would be very difficult to be a high profile pastor. No thank you! I love Biblical translation and I can tell from you comment that you have the bug as well. 🙂 John is my favorite.


  4. I had the chance to attend The Gospel Coalition conference in Chicago earlier this year. Because of his stance on Warren, I really wasn’t interested in anything Piper had to say, but I did attend the talks given by Tim Keller and Matt Chandler. Keller sounded an awful lot to me like an Emergent. Not so much in his doctrine, but very much with his continual deconstruction and re-defining of biblical words. He seems to take pleasure in bending every concept and definition as far as it can go. It was extremely troubling.
    My friend and I walked out of Chandler’s talk after about 20 minutes. I was absolutely shocked that I didn’t see anyone else leaving. The eisegesis of his text was so blatant I am unsure of how anyone could miss it unless totally blinded by loyalty and affection. I don’t know Keller or Chandler personally, but I wouldn’t recommend either one as a source of solid, spiritual food. Someone has “poisoned the water-hole” so to speak. There are definitely some troubling signs from both if what I heard was anything typical of their work (which I believe it was).
    Enough has been written on Rick Warren that absolutely nobody has any excuse for defending his teachings. He preaches “another gospel” of works righteousness using modern-day evangelical terms. I am convinced that Piper doesn’t admit this and repent for the simple reason that he doesn’t want to. I may be overly harsh and judgmental on this subject, but I guess I am just wore out by all these false teachers that have flooded the populace!


  5. Echos, of Echos, of Echos… That is what the bull-pits have become. That is why they can’t walk the walk. Blind leaders of the blind. The church clergy has become slogans and tweets. Preachers compare themselves BY themselves, and chase every wind of doctrine, and every new program, herding goats into plush pews. They have found it much more profitable to preach the jesus who will do for YOU, rather then Who He is. Jesus is all about His Bride in their eyes. Shouldn’t the bride be all about Him, instead of all about her own best interests?
    I’ve always found that learning at His feet to be much more excellent a thing then running around worrying about the many things. The closer I get to Him the more distant I find myself from the religion of the denominations, now numbered at 38,000…My favorite name of one of them is the Penticostal Free Will Baptists. Honest!
    I keep pointing out that there is only one church/bride, and He alone builds it. The proof is in the falling away of the preachers as they gather for themselves “sheep” of their own to sheer.
    “Freely you have been given, freely give..and Do not be a burden on them,” were 2 teachings given by the Apostle. Yet EVERYTHING is upside down today! An old preacher friend I knew growing up used to say, when you see one of those ministers coming around, keep one hand on your wallet, and the other on your wife, and don’t let go till he has moved along to greener pastures….He was a wise and Godly man, who undershepherded Christ’s sheep in his charge. Yet in the end he was put out to pasture, as the folks wanted more modern methods….and so it goes!


  6. Good post as it hits the major points and concerns many of us have had. One little thing—Doug Wilson is a Federal Visionist whom Piper continues to promote at Bethlehem Baptist church, and whom he had at DGC a few years ago (maybe that’s who you meant? Or maybe Keller’s going that direction too–which is possible).

    I do believe we’re seeing the fruition of “Christian hedonosm” and its not pretty; it seems to allow alliances with those who are treasonous against God.

    As Dr. Robert Morey once rightly stated and I often think of this when I consider the “interviews” Piper has had with Warren ( if Warren is so solid, then there should be no need to ask questions, but I digress):


    The main problem is that many religious leaders today say one thing and teach another. If you ask Gregory Boyd or the other “Open View of God” heretics if they believe in the “omniscience” of God, they will say, “Yes.” Dumb Christians are satisfied at this point and go their merry way deceived and hoodwinked. But if you force them to define the term “omniscience,” they end up denying that God knows all things! They claim that God does not and cannot know the future.

    Just because someone says, “I believe in sola scriptura,” does not mean he really believes in it. If he elsewhere says that the Bible is not the final authority in faith and practice, he has denied in substance what he supposedly affirmed as a slogan. Heretics have always done this. What they affirm with the right hand is what they deny with the left hand. It does not matter what doctrine is at stake.

    End quote.

    “Numbers of easy-minded people wink at error so long as it is committed by a clever man and a good-natured brother, who has so many fine points about him. Let each believer judge for himself; but, for our part, we have put on a few fresh bolts to our door, and we have given orders to keep the chain up; for, under color of begging the friendship of the servant, there are those about who aim at robbing THE MASTER.” – Spurgeon

    Rom 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

    Loyalty to Christ at all costs will cost us something. But there is something peaceful and joyful about it, even in the midst of the fire and then in its aftermath. Having done all, we stand, in good conscience before God and man, knowing we love Him enough to, by His grace, stand for biblical truth…and loving the souls of others enough to warn them. We might have scars from the battle, but we have HIS love and approval, and that’s all we truly need.

    In Christ Alone,



  7. Mike, I am glad you wrote this!
    Even here , among some people I have much affection for, there is this extreme reluctance to speak out about the (hard-to-understand) actions of, and endorsements by, Piper…let alone question or criticize anything he does! It almost borders on idolatry!
    Praying much that many eyes are opened, and that there is fruit from the posting of this message!


  8. Joe, thanks for that “inside, up close look” at what I have been suspecting for quite some time about Keller and Chandler. Jesus said that we can know them by their fruit didn’t he? Sometimes its hard from where I sit, but you got to hear them speak and I admire your fortitude brother. My wife is fond of saying that I couldn’t be trusted in such a situation because I would raise my hand and ask for clarification and then refute them. That is why she can’t take me anywhere. 🙂 just kidding. In any case, eisegesis used to support a point is the red flag we look for, you are right. Warren does it all over the place, I know Chandler does it. I haven’t paid much attention to Keller. I suppose its time I did. Thanks for this great summary brother.


  9. Denise, yes I was aware of Doug Wilson, but I have also been hearing a lot about the theology of Tim Keller as if it has become tainted with this Federal Vision stuff.

    Those quotes are great and I agree that they are right on and do define what we are seeing now. What is so desperately hard for some of us to come to grips with is someone like John Piper who has all the right theology and all the right credentials partnering up with men about whom he should be warning us. It is appalling. This is confusing at best.

    Some have said that the definition of Christianity is sufficiently broad to include all these others we are excluding whom John Piper is including. If we apply the rules our Lord and the Apostles gave us to know who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a false teacher, et cetera then these ol boys fail the test, sorry. That is why we must ask these questions and why John Piper is not above accountability to the Church to answer.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  10. Mike,

    Standing up and questioning Rick Warren’s influence in my former church was one of the issues that forced me to recognize I could not submit to those who called themselves “Pastor”, prompting me to take my wife and my life to a smaller, reformed, sound church that has nourished our souls. http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net


  11. I give thanks to my Lord Jesus, that he has led me to your blogsite and those of others who are on the front lines of His army, exposing the twisted untruths among His bride. I thought that being part of a non-denominational church would leave me out of the winds of doctrine…and to some extent that’s true. But on the fringes, in the background, poking out here and there, are little reminders that these twisted untruths can come in, harmlessly, because they speak of God. Now more than ever, I research out authors of the Bible studies or sponsors of events promoted by my leadership…and I am driven in my heart to hear from my Lord through His Word, rather than lean solely on the knowledge given in a book or program. I just wanted to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing…I look from far in the back lines of the Lord’s army, where I am doing the daily tasks assigned to me, and I am shouting ahead, “Press on! Good Job! Keep going for the prize of Himself!”


  12. Thank you Mike for trying yet again, as so many others have, to get some clarity from John Piper. I hope he responds. Hopeful, but not counting on it, as he already has had many opportunites. We are very familiar with him and his continuing mind boggling associations with Warren and infatuation with Driscoll and Chandler, etc. His opinion does not mean much to me.

    You wrote this: “Third, I know you are close to C.J. Mahaney. I believe he is a godly man. I also believe he has erred in moving too far into his stance on holiness. Look what happened with his relationships within his own ministry when they started debating on whether he was humble enough or not. What is your stance on that Dr. Piper?”

    Thanks for bringing up Mahaney. What I have read about him and his troubles at SGM are devestating since the documents were brought to light forcing his step down/time of reflection, whatever it is, from SGM. This is no small thing imo. I am no Mahaney expert…never heard of him really until the last couple of months…so I am glad you brought him up and hope people read about the accusations, successful blackmailing CJ evidently did, and the horrific stories of covering up child abuse in their churches, as some of the pastors have now admitted.

    CJ left CLC when he stepped down over a month ago and now this week his 2 sons in law quit CLC as well. I guess, Mike, I do not know that CJ is a “godly” man…or an ungodly man…what is a godly man? I do hope the Lord deals with him and shows him what he has done.


  13. Diane, C.J. is godly in that he is very concerned about his own humility before God. His problem is that he tries to accomplish it subjectively through evidences of humility. Well, his problem is that he is very concerned with his image. Therefore, those around him perceive that this is pride. He has allowed this concern over how people perceive him to jeopardize his leadership and to actually cause issues at SG. He is not deity. He is a man and should repent and seek forgiveness from those who have been harmed by all this. On the flip side, that goes the other way as well. Sigh… A godly man is one who is primarily concerned with the glory of God and being where God wants him to be doing what God wants him to do regardless of the cost. I see C.J. that way and if he was outside of SG he would probably be doing a much better job of that.


  14. Agree, Mike. He should seek forgiveness from those who have been harmed under his care. I guess time will tell and we will see if he does do that. Or, if he just moves on to better things, a different church, something new.

    Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteriesa wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’” Matt. 23:5-7


  15. Hi Mike,

    I found this article from linking over from Apprising. Just so you know, I don’t consider myself a reformer (I’m a born again Christian, who attends a sound, independent, baptist-rooted bible church), but I’ve been watching all these Piper goings on from the sidelines since the original Warrengate. If I may throw in my 2 cents…

    One of the qualifications of elders is that a man is able to both teach sound doctrine and refute those who contradict (Titus 1:9). Unsound teachers are supposed to be silenced and severely reproved by a preacher of God (Titus 1:11,13), not yoked with and befriended, let alone defiantly promoted as Piper has done with Warren and others. Sadly, by his fruits Piper is being made known. Denise (above) is right – one of the early warning signs was the so-called “Christian hedonism” that Piper taught. That teaching was not doctrinally sound. It should never have got a pass. Another questionable teaching of Piper’s, the “Future Grace” issue; my husband and I walked out of a SS the first day they started teaching that.

    So, given that it’s been well over a year since the original Warrengate nonsense, and even longer when you look at the other concerns with Piper, why are we still asking him to answer any of these questions? He already has answered them, multiple times over, by his own actions. Again, Denise is right – when you ask someone like an open theologist if they believe in omniscience of God, they will say “yes”, but they have secretly redefined the term. But by their actions, teachings, and associations, they reveal their true answer. Anyone can give a verbal song and dance to appease his critics, and the semantic gymnastics can get old really fast. But observe their actions and we can see if their walk matches their talk.

    Piper’s been at this a long time now. He’s been held accountable and called to repentance many times now, but hasn’t responded in like fashion. Therefore, it seems that the time for separation from Piper is long overdue. Separation from sin and error is always God’s will for a believer, whether it is marking and avoiding heretics, or separating from unrepentant brothers. Yet, we must always continue in pray with wisdom.

    Grace and peace to you

    (PS: Mike, if you’ll allow me to ask: not to hijack this thread, but that Denise wouldn’t happen to be surphside?)


  16. Carolyn, yes, the Denise you quoted is “Surphside.”

    The writing and posting of this article is an attempt to give Dr. Piper and/or his apologists the forum to reply. None, so far, has been forthcoming. From that, we shall determine the extent of their blatancy to err in darkness in the coldness of their hearts. What does that mean? It means unbelief which is the fruit of hard hearts that are blinded in deep deception. Since many involved in this deception have a very high modicum of visible orthodoxy, what does this say? It says that what is on the outside is just what men see, God sees what is on the inside and what we should look at is their fruit, not their visible orthodoxy.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  17. What makes me smile is that everyone wants to defend their choice in preachers and churches, and yet nearly every one of those preachers quotes the rock star pastors nearly every Sunday. Further the elders teach directly out of these same preachers’ best selling books. Most have a statement of faith that has little to nothing to do with their beliefs from the pulpits. I have been taken to task several times over the past 5 years for pointing these issues out, and so I just sit patiently till they are forced to confront the truth, or compromise it. Labels such as SBC or Reformed, ad nosium mean NOTHING today (not that they meant much anyways). The falling away continues and everyone who is not standing only on the Rock of ages alone will fall when their foundations of sand shift with the tide of popular religion.
    There is only one church…Jesus alone is building it, the gates of hell will never prevail against it, Jesus alone puts you in it, and He alone orchestrates the fellowship. The rest is dead works religion. These men are building their own brand of church based upon what man wants, and reminds me very much of the guy at the doors of funeral homes. They sure seem to be kind and caring, but inside they are measuring you for your casket someday. Everybody is nice when they can merchandise you. Read the prophets of old and apply their words to the church and their leaders, for God is the same yesterday, today, and forever….so is Satan,….so is fallen/religious men. The only ones transformed are we who are born from above. Cast off your belief in the traditions taught by men and follow Jesus alone as Lord! Sooner or later you too will come out of her (false religion). The meeting place was never the problem.

    Mike, thanks again for walking in Truth, and developing the thick skin needed to confront wickedness. When we truly fear the One who can kill us an cast us into hell, the pretenders aren’t so tough afterall. When we want to please both, we please neither, and in the end are in danger of “depart from Me…”
    The fact that these posts are the top posts for being read and commented on prooves that folks are trying to keep their feet in two places…just like Nicodemus. ” I see the Truth, but I need the system it is good for me…” It never was about us, it is ALL ABOUT Jesus and His preeminence. The New Testiment uses that word preeminence 2 times…One for Jesus…the other for Diatrophese a preacher who wouldn’t let an Apostle back in to fellowship in a church founded by Apostles…Isn’t it time we figured it all out?!?!
    Up next the compromises of…Mac Arthur perhaps?


  18. Mike,

    You said: “what we should look at is their fruit, not their visible orthodoxy.”

    Agreed. I rarely listen to anyone’s empty words anymore. Instead, from a safe distance (these days, a very safe distance), I investigate what they teach and measure it up against the Bible, and then I look at who/what they partner with or promote. If one or the other, or both, is not “kosher”, I walk away and shake off the dust. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Talk is cheap; I probe the walk, ye shall know them by their fruit.

    I guess my point was that Piper has *already* been questioned *multiple* times regarding these matters. Piper has *already* been given *many* forums in which to reply, and *much* time in which to repent, and thus far, he has not only failed to accept accountability and to repent, but rather, he’s also become more defiant, especially in his promotion of Rick Warren. Biblically, how much more leeway does one give Piper before saying “enough’s enough”? Frankly, I think separation from Piper is long past overdue at this point.

    And if I may post this here, since I can’t post on her blog (I don’t have the required account) – Denise @ surphside, thank you for speaking so clearly and Biblically against all the false teachers and teachings.


  19. It is sad when people like Piper, who has influenced so many people around the world, are being changing their direction. I could not believe what I heard when Piper was going to invite Rick Warren and that he could not see the error in Warren’s teachings.

    This is a lesson for all of us. We all have to pray that God keeps us on the right path and we must allow Him and people around us to correct us when we are leaving the Truth.


  20. Correction: It is sad when people like Piper, who has influenced so many people around the world, are changing their direction.


  21. Janet, I think God gave us the example of Solomon in the Bible for this very reason. Look what he had and then at his apostasy before he died! If that can happen to someone like Solomon then it can certainly happen to Billy Graham or John Piper or or whoever. All it takes is for these men to get their focus on themselves instead of God. What is that? That is the opposite of true humility. It is only as we walk before God in true humility that we are in true obedience to Him. When these men do these bizarre things like embracing those with questionable or bad theology then we must confront them and if they do not repent of that then we must warn the Church as we turn from them. The Church has not done this so now we have a whole group of formerly quasi-orthodox men who are now going apostate and most of the Church is doing nothing or saying anything about it. Well, we must start somewhere…


  22. @Mike:

    you do know however we have a fifth column in the likes of Frank Turk, admirer of Federal Vision heretic Douglas Wilson who continues to attack the “watchbloggers.”

    The sad thing is that people like Phil Johnson continues to allow Turk the use of the platform of the Pyromaiacs blog.


  23. Puritanreformed, yes, but we know all about him don’t we? Since that is the case, shouldn’t we just ignore the man and those like him? However, when he really steps in it, we must respond with the truth.


  24. Daniel, let us never forget that our God is Sovereign. Yes we have a fifth column in place in the likes of Frank Turk, but our Lord had Judas Iscariot… We must simply obey by standing firm and for some of us that means calling out the apostates and heretics even when it makes us unpopular with men like Frank. He can say whatever he wants about me, but he also understands that he had better not say anything he can’t back up with facts. On the other hand, our job is to go hard after ANYONE who attacks the person and doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is our role. It should be the role of men like Piper and company, but …


  25. Do you see the real issue? It is who is preemminent in our minds…Who are we really following? Jesus or an elevated man?!?! What would you all say to a Catholic regarding the Pope worship, or Mary worship? It is the same thing!!!
    Mary was a bit player in The play “Jesus, of Him, from Him, for Him, through Him, and to Him!!!” We are all bit players in His play, But no. Rather we want elevated as the church as if it is something we do and about us, and we elevate preachers, as if they are special and important. Whenever folks tried that with the Apostles, what did the Apostles do? Pointed to Jesus. We MUST decrease….period. This is preacher worship….and it is the Holy Spirit that teaches you and I….or not. The man was never to be any part of our focus. If the preacher is anywhere near as big as Jesus, then we are off the path. We are the bride, and the bride’s true love should be the groom, unless we are like all the carnal earthly weddings where it is now all about the bride’s day, and the groom becomes the bit player…That friends is not the Preemminence of Jesus.
    Once Jesus is preemminent in EVERYTHING in our lives, all the rest of this sillyness looks like junior high school clicks.
    Paul got it, even as he met with the other Apostles…what are they?… & I am determined to know nothing when I am with you except Christ and Him crucified!
    I would love to think that these preachers would have their eyes opened and conform to the Truth….But you see, by defenition their error makes them blind, and those who chase after them are thus blind also…Well did Jesus say, they are blind leaders of the blind.


  26. After all which is more important, what pastor De Vine says about Jesus, or Jesus Himself?!?! (Now, consider what Jesus said about the preachers!!!)

    It is amazing how many folks will tell you they go to pastor —X’s church. Or ask you where do you GO to church, or who is your pastor? The Lord is MY Shepherd…I shall not want, He MAKES me lie down in green pastures, (because we are too stupid to know what a green pasture is, LOL) apparently we don’t appreciate still waters either, since we seem to love the turbulence too!!! LOL


  27. Mickey, I grew up within the SBC in Oklahoma with my Grandfather being a Pastor. We regularly had preachers preach at our church then eat at our house afterward. They all knew it other. I never held any of them up like some people do because I got to witness first hand that these are real people with real issues with each other. There were jealousies and rivalries et cetera even back then. Well, they contributed a l lot to my own rebellion and God not saving me until my mid-thirties.


  28. If we would stop funding them through the fallacy of a New covenant “tithe” and we will quickly see their true motivation! Further, quit buying all their books, and that whole cottage industry of making merchandise of us goes away too. Think Zondervan and their UN-christian owners. This will give us time to actually become disciples of Jesus instead of pastor De Vine, and much more time to learn the Word in context! After all Jesus is the Word of God, and if we read the word of men and their “take” on what He meant, we are forsaking Him!


  29. I knew a few of the good old boys myself. It wasn’t hard to distinguish the ones who knew Who was Lord, and who lorded over others. The good ones never had any riches on this earth either, because the money folks went where they could buy influence. There is nothing new under the sun.
    I miss the undershepherds, who were guides that always pointed to the Prize1


  30. You rebelled against the false religion, because you had eyes to see, Mike! Thank you Jesus! He, that began a good work in you is faithfully completing it too! I, on the other hand grew up Catholic, and so I know religion when I see it too! Thank you Jesus! He opened my eyes, and never let go of me. I owe Him everything, and cannot pay Him anything, but to live for Him! He is my Lord, and no man. True believers are my brothers/sisters.


  31. I wonder what is going on in Piper’s head too. It seems like he wants to be “tolerant” of other people that profess Christianity no matter what they promote, whether it be Wilson who promotes the heretical Federal Vision teachings or Warren who promotes seeker sensitive pragmatism and Bible twisting. I do not get it.


  32. With all respect to you Mike, and Dr. Piper, he has answered, through his continued silence, and the worse than feeble interview with Warren. As you said, this is his mark, this is his way, except in this case it’s Piper, not Warren. His is not blind and know’s the criticism are out there in growing numbers. He knows all too well what the Driscoll’s and the Chandlers are up to.

    For reasons known only to him, Piper has chosen the road of silence, and the road of I’m OK your OK. Other than some issues with Genesis where Dr. Piper is wrong, most people agree with his doctrines and theology 100%. With his continued silence and feeble defense of Warren, along with standing along side men who need to repent of some of their teachings, Dr. Piper hurts no one, but he certainly does no credit to the Gospel, and guts sola scriptura. Will Dr. Piper defend men, or the Gospel he has served so well? Only the Lord he and I both serve know, and time will tell the rest of us.


  33. Mike,

    How does one go from an orthodox position to being a false teacher, heretic, wolf, or one who doesn’t see anything wrong with associating/fellowshipping with such? Is it a conscious decision on their part? Does a false teacher know that what he’s teaching is false? What do they consider the pluses to false teaching? Does an eternity in the lake of fire sound like a good idea to them? I’d assume that they were never saved. Am I wrong?



  34. Committed Christian, neither do I and I was asked those questions so much from readers/friends, plus I had some concerns of my own, that I suggested this to some close to me and it was decided to put this post together in this format. I really doubt if we hear from Dr. Piper, but anything is possible.


  35. Oh, I agree with you Michael. Most of this was written for the benefit of the Church itself, to get things out in the open rather than covering up what should not be hidden.


  36. Great post Mike, this is an issue that many in the reformed camp have ignored. When I brought this up with my former pastor (in a SGM church) it resulted in a sermon a few weeks later about how sinful it is to go to watch blogs. As a side note, you mentioned CJ and SGM, I can tell you from personal experience, that the issues with CJ go far deeper. These issues caused my wife and I to leave and now attend a great PCA church. So since becoming reformed 3 years ago, I have had to leave two churches, but God is good.

    I just want to encourage you and thank you for faithfully bringing the truth. May God bless you and encourage you as you fight the good fight of faith. In all times, in all seasons, God has His men, His watchmen. I love the quote from AW Tozer’s forward to Leonard Ravenill’s book why revival tarries. Ken has posted it on his site, I’m sure your familiar with it.

    “Great industrial concerns have in their employ men who are needed only when there is a breakdown somewhere. When something goes wrong with the machinery, these men spring into action to locate and remove the trouble and get the machinery rolling again. For these men a smoothly operating system has no interest. They are specialists concerned with trouble and how to find and correct it…

    …A thousand or ten thousand ordinary priests or pastors or teachers could labor quietly on, almost unnoticed, while the spiritual life of Israel or the Church was normal. But let the people of God go astray from the paths of truth, and immediately the specialist appeared almost out of nowhere. His instinct for trouble brought him to the help of the Lord and of Israel.

    Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, as these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others, and alienated not a few, but he knew Who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart.”

    Thank you for bringing up serious issues being ignored by many in leadership today. . .

    God bless you Mike,



  37. Mike,

    PS: Forgive me, I didn’t mean to be rude, and not say thank you for caring about the flock and taking the time to expose these serious concerns about Piper, as well as for your other posts on others such as Warren, Driscoll, etc. Thank you for taking a much needed Biblical look at these men, and examining the fruit of both their doctrine and their actions (which in many, if not most cases, is proving to be rotten on both counts). No teacher, no believer, no one on earth is above the scrutiny of Scripture. Thank you for calling out the warning.

    Thanks as well to all other believers who also do the same work.


  38. I agree with you Mike. If we stay silent and no one confronts people with the error it will bring more damage to the flock.


  39. Thanks for sharing that Al! Yes, God is good and uses these things to put us in the right place. So much of the leadership in the visible church is blinded by post-moderist thinking, et cetera that they react just as you shared. I have friends who contact me almost daily with their own accounts of how their Pastors behave in like manner. It is amazing.


  40. Mike, well written! Thank you for doing this. Blessings.
    It must be OK with Piper that Warren wrote the forward to a book on Mother Teresa describing her as “one of the great evangelist of the 20th century” – (TIME Mother Teresa: The Life and Works of a Modern Saint.) What kind of red flag does Piper need? I’m tired of hearing Piper say Warren is doctrinally sound. It seems like Piper doesn’t care about all the people whose churches were hijacked by Purpose Driven and all the seeker sensitive methodologies that came with it. God grows his church, not some man made program. I don’t get it. Where are the Elders? Don’t the people of Bethlehem Baptist see the error of Piper’s acceptance of Warren? Maybe the people who spoke up were kicked out. I’m not a theologian and never attended seminary but I know when the gospel is watered down or left out. This kind of gospel has no saving power.
    Gary Gilley did a review of Piper’s book “When I Don’t Desire God” and Piper “quotes favorably from a very disturbing stable of authors.”
    Mike, you asked Piper about “Spiritual Formation.” We need to ask about this too:
    Piper must also be OK with Beth Moore since his church offers her bible studies with her Scripture twisting, eisegesis and victory theology. It also boggles my brain to think that Piper would bring in a foul mouth, sex talking pastor like Driscoll.
    Piper’s church has a pastor on staff who took a leave of absence to finish his Doctor of Missiology degree from Fuller Seminary. Yikes!


  41. Please bear with me as I try to express myself. I’m trying to be as honest as possible here. Believe me, my purpose is not to cause undue offense rather to inform, warn and share what I have learned over the past 4 weeks. I’ve been reading through the comments to the above post and have noticed phrases like good ol boys, fruit etc. and there are some thoughts I have and would like to share.

    I guess the way I see this all is that Piper has shown his colors. He is what he is and there is no use trying to change him. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that has been found out and IMO deserves no press that treats him as just a back slidden brother who can be turned around. Our mission at this time should be to warn our brothers and sisters who have fallen under Piper’s spell and to spell out exactly what doctrine of his is unsound, regardless of who he affiliates himself with. He should be treated as the wolf he is, just like we would handle someone like Joseph Smith or C Peter Wagner. We should have figured out Piper was a wolf when he started in with all his mystical experiential christianity long ago before he decided to buddy up with Rick Warren and Driscoll. After all, the men he associates with is just a symptom, not the cause of his apostacy…that is, if he was ever orthodox to begin with. Think Billy Graham here.

    Driscoll has shown his colors and he too is another wolf. He also has shown time and time again what he is. His crude talk gives him away. His fruit gives him away…easily I might add.

    CJ has shown his fruit as well, and we need to be willing to see his colors for what they are. It seems our shepherds are willing to give CJ their covering and approval and are willing to sweep this man’s doctrinal error and criminal activity rampant in the SGM, under CJ’s leadership, under the rug. They call it secondary issues and rantings of a disgruntled employee…but they can’t shut up the people who have been hurt by this man’s ministry. So…

    As to CJ Mahaney…there’s been a lot of stuff coming out about him that we would do well to look into. They come from more than just Brent Dewiler. After all, the stuff Brent touches on is just surface stuff. They come from lay people inside his organization. Just normal church-goers who have escaped the jaws of SGM after much hurt. Tales of sexual abuse, black mail, spousal abuse, sin sniffing, charismatic holiness, oppressive authoritarian touch not my annointed mentality etc. I recommend taking some time to read the stories of people who left SGM churches. There are hundreds of accounts. The abuse includes manipulating, shaming, scolding and shunning and it is similar to what occurs in cults. Infact, it is what we see in cults. Touch not the annointed.

    As far as humility? CJ puts on a show. I’ve watched and listened to his sermons…it’s a circus. He cries out that he wants to be humble, but then makes the show all about him. Jokes, funny voices, funny faces and body movements…things that bring attention to him, not Jesus Christ.

    The holiness movement and sin sniffing environment he has fostered should be all we need to understand that CJ is a wolf. It’s not something he just fell into. It was completely purposeful and has been going on for years. I’ve been so discourged to see that “discernment” ministries aren’t even touching the subject because it seems to not be as important as stuff like Rick Warren. Why is that? SGM has been concealing knowledge of sexual abuse in their church. They’ve imposed gags and forced forgiveness on victims and their families. They’ve exposed their congregations to horrible risk by hiding the presence of rapists and predators in the SGM churches. They’ve decided that when it comes to sexual abuse, the reputation of the church and the evil men within are what need protecting, not victims, not their families, not the church congregation. Sounds a lot like the RCC to me and even the church of scientology. And yet, it seems that all people care about is CJ’s problem with humility. I would say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and when people like Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan and Phil Johnson (via links to other articles on his fb page) say not to look into this subject any further, they are doing nothing but protecting their own good ol boys bible club. I wonder what Jesus would say about all of this? He didn’t have any trouble telling those teachers around Him in His day that they were of their father…the Devil. They knew the lingo, the scriptures, the law…but they were not His own. We were warned so many times about those who enter into the sheepfold completely unaware. They are subtle. So subtle, we miss them. So suble, we put them in the pulpit and pay them heft salaries to deceive and control us. We are taught to push the “little things” to the back of our minds and dismiss them as secondary. We were warned about hirelings. I don’t think we would have been warned so earnestly if all wolves were easily spotted.

    Here is what pastors at FCC and CLC have used this power to tell victims and their families:
    – Keep abuse secret and protect the identities of abusers.
    – Naming your abuser is gossip and slander and unforgiveness.
    – Don’t go to the police. Don’t pursue legal recourse.
    – The legal and personal ramifications for the abuser are more important than the damage the abuser did to you.
    – You are obligated to forgive abusers, and do so virtually instantly.
    – You are sinning if you remain angry about their abuse for more than a matter of days.
    – Sexual abuse doesn’t really cause long-term psychological trauma (and therefore you don’t really need care or help from us and you might even be sinning by still experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, and other effects).

    I wish I could be nicer about saying these things, but there really is no nice way to say it. So this post is a letter to Piper…but again I say, Piper has shown what he is and I shook the dust off my feet long ago, just as I did Warren. Same for Driscoll. But since CJ was mentioned in passing, I believe this is an opportunity to warn of yet another cult leader simply because I haven’t seen any warnings from the blogs I rely on to help keep me informed. As time goes on, I believe the Holy Spirit will continue to expose the subtle wolves and hirelings to his true sheep and we may be very upset when we find out that our precious pastors aren’t what they appear to be. After all, the Good Shepherd is faithful and if no one else is going to feed His lambs and protect them, He will.


  42. I went to the above site for the retreat and it is for jr high and high school.

    From the registration form it says-
    “Participant’s Grade in Spring of 2011: 8 9 10 11 12”

    “2011 Disciplines for Life Retreat
    Subtitle: Learn and practice the spiritual disciplines to know Jesus Christ better and be transformed into his likeness more and more.
    Author: Kevin Dau
    Context/Location/Campus: Eden Wood Center, Eden Prairie, MN
    Date Given: June 14, 2011
    We will be spending the weekend learning about and practicing the spiritual disciplines of fasting, Bible meditation and memorization, prayer, worship, fellowship, and related disciplines.”

    I think it is disturbing because if you are going to learn about the spiritual disciplines that will maybe involve some history–desert father stuff. Plus, don’t they endorse Foster/Willard?


  43. May I just add, the information dawnmarie4 provided about CJM was horrifying to no end. Are you kidding me? Who are these men in the pulpits today?!?!?!? Lord help us!!!


  44. @ Dawn Marie.
    When I mentioned Good Old Boys, I meant Good Older Preachers who were true undershepherds. Perhaps you missed that. With regards to the rest of your post, I see no offense. I would say that it matters not whether a man who claims/or is called to undershepherd actually feeds the Masters Sheep, for Jesus was/is quite clear that He will always take care of His own. Further men will fail you…period, but He will never fail you. That is why He promised the Holy Spirit. He new all men would continue to fall short. Even the good “good ol boys.”
    With regards to The rock stars of the modern church, they are God’s judgement upon all men who choose to enter in by the broad road to destruction. Any person being mislead by men are being mislead because they have not or choose not to follow the Shepherd’s voice. Further they prefer for the many “annointed ones” to do their discerning, and their work as disciples. “My sheep know my voice, and in NO WAY will follow another.” We give these ‘annointed ones’ too much credit, and those who choose to follow them, particularly AFTER being warned by and with scripture, are given over by Him to their lusts. Scripture is accurate, and clear…It is man who chooses not to believe Him, and thus believe every lie and wind of doctrine.
    You wrote a clear letter as to how you see things, and I take no offense to it, but would ask you to re-read my (too many perhaps) notes again from above and see we agree on many points. Watchmen are called to cry out in warning when he sees what the deceiver plots. Folks who choose not to heed the warning, and see/protect themselves, are on their own.
    Apparently the “christians” of our day, prefer to sleep in the darkness rather then trim their lamps so as to clearly see the path ahead. The virgins, both wise and foolish, were asleep as the Bridegroom approaches. That is a very telling picture of our day. Further, the foolish were told to go “buy” their oil from wherever it was that they bought theirs. That too is a very telling picture of how most folks today chase after the (snake) oil salesmen in American Churchianity today!


  45. Dawnmarie4 said:
    “I wish I could be nicer about saying these things, but there really is no nice way to say it. So this post is a letter to Piper…but again I say, Piper has shown what he is and I shook the dust off my feet long ago, just as I did Warren. Same for Driscoll. But since CJ was mentioned in passing, I believe this is an opportunity to warn of yet another cult leader simply because I haven’t seen any warnings from the blogs I rely on to help keep me informed.”

    Good point Dawnmarie. Sadly when this all broke, it looked like true reform was happening. Josh Harris spoke of change and seemed like the only one in SGM leadership wtih any credibility. Then Al Mohler and Lig Duncan came out with vocal support for CJ without really addressing the deep problems not only with CJ but also with SGM as a whole. Interestingly, the next day, Dave Harvey and the SGM team did a 180 degree postition shift from repentance to defiance. Coincidence? I don’t think so. . .

    A few weeks later, at a SGM leadership summit on the whole situation, invited guests Kevin Deyoung, Ray Ortlund, and Carl Truman, all affirmed that CJ was fit for ministry. I guess blackmail isn’t an issue? Anyway, I deeply respect and have benefited from all five of the men I mentioned, but the silence from the reformed big dogs on this is disturbing. . . What is the point of biblical polity and reformed confessions if SGM has neither and yet claim to be reformed? There “playing” reformed and their caricature of true reformed theology has done much damage and caused much confusion.

    When I left my SGM church one of the reasons I brought up was the polity. I told my former pastor that it wasn’t biblical and was a recipe for trouble. . . guess I had a prophetic word? (wayne grudem would be proud lol).

    Dawnmarie, I hope you have found a good church sister!!


  46. Hi Mickeymarie….no no. I understood what you meant by good old boys and old fashioned preachers. I was just mentioning the things that came to my mind when I think of those terms…especially lately…fruit and good ol’ boys. Sorry for not making that clear. My comments were definitely not aimed at you. Forgive me for my vagueness.

    Al, I hope you found a good church home too! For me, no, sadly no…and church hopping has become very tiring and discouraging. I think my husband and I have given up looking for now. I have my husband, family and friends that I fellowship with in a non formal atmosphere 7 days a week. Some are 5 point calvinistic in their beliefs, such as my mom and sis, some are 4 point, such as my brothers, their wives and my dad. I also have friends from the net that I talk to via email daily. If that’s the way it has to be, then so be it. When two or more are gathered in His name…if however, God sees fit to lead me to a church home, I’m there. For now, I will be greatful for the people He has given me.


  47. So, Mike, since there is this silence…and affirmation and promotion of CJ from those like Dever, Duncan, Mohler, MacArthur, T4G and Gospel Coalition, what is one to think? Anyone with a desire can go to survivors, refuge and Wartburg and read the stories of how the pastors of CLC (CJ’s church) and the other churches mentioned in the stories handled sexual predators of children…. how they protected the perps and covered for them… and of the spiritual and emotional abuse suffered from the heavy handed shepherding type teachings those churches taught. They have been posted there for several years. Ignored by SGM….until recently. The once “forbidden to be read because it was considered gossip to do so” blogs are now being read SGM church members. Whether these types of teachings are taught by all or most SGM churches, I do not know. One particularly horrible and tragic case apparently occured under CJ’s watch….exclcer’s story.

    Do these “leaders” then, by their promotion of CJ, agree with the way CJ and CLC does church? The heavy handed pastors always know what is best so submit and obey teachings which have caused devastation to people by making the pastor practically their god and teaching people they cannot trust in their “sinful instincts?: Do they know and not care, know and agree, or not know and are then negligent for promoting and partnering with an organization that would teach such things? If you want to know what the “such things” are that I am referring to– read the blogs and be ready to be grieved because the stories are horrid. Now that I have read the stories and have seen the shallow responses of SGM and CJ Mahaney, I wonder how it is that the “Reformed leaders” (they’re not my leaders) can think there is anything worth promoting about CJ and hi$ organization.


  48. Pingback: The Rewards of Christian Suffering « Possessing the Treasure

  49. @Dawnmarie4;
    You are a sweet heart, and I appreciate your messages, as well as your blog. I have it, and FEW others in my “favorites savings.” You have heeded His voice and come out of organized religion, as we have also. We are out some 5 years now. Like you, our family would prefer the simplicity of “a church home”,” yet we now realize that Jesus alone is building His Ekklesia, or called out ones, that He orchestrates all of these things, and that when we are in Christ Jesus, nothing happens outside His perfect will, when we follow Him as Lord. We too looked for a while for a church home, finding nothing, but spiritual bonzai tress, and spiritual lobsters, you know, they look mature but are truly stunted in all aspects of their life, or having one giant claw and one stunted claw as they hold out their big claw of “worship music” or “cell groups” or “new sanctuary,” but the rest of them also are stunted…in doctrine. The longer you are in the wilderness, and sitting/learning at His feet the more True Meat you will be eating, and the more you will realize that the spiritual milk being served isn’t milk at all but a pablum substitute. You will also begin to see that the vast majority of those you left behind, go there because like Peter at the Transfiguration “it is good for US to be here.” You will thus see that the crowds attend for the benefits, not who He is, and they are grateful for the scraps that drop to them from their “annointed ones” tables. A friend of mine who has been out even longer says he now realizes why the 501 non profits exist…They are like a day care where fussy babies can be taken care of, fed their formula and having their dirty diapers changed. When I first heard that I was appauled at the insensitivity…later I realized he is not only quite sensitive to the situation…HE WAS RIGHT!!!
    Rejoice Dawnmarie4 because you not only heard His call to depart, but you have family members who also have ears and eyes to hear and see with you….Most come out alone, and have not the level of fellowship your and my family enjoy…We are truly blessed. We are now seeing that 5 years of explaining WHY we left, and that it wasn’t because we were hurt or struggling, as many were told, is now beginning to get some traction with those who question. Dawnmarie4 we would not trade a minute of our 5 years out for anything we “had” prior in the buildings. We were attending a church that boasted 1500 families attending each month(according to the official document known as our church directory). I headed up the benevolence committe that I started (silly sounding now isn’t it) My Sunday school classes were large enought to command the 150 seat choir room, my wife had travelled as a singer/soloist for Liberty University during the Van Impe and Mark Lowry days there…further she was the lead in several of our $100,000 dollar Cantata productions at Christmas and Easter.
    (How silly am I sounding now). Those things are what most in the pews aspire too! Further I was V.P. of a large international ministry like Make a Wish….ad noseum…………………….All DUNG in my past…..Nothing, NOTHING compares to sitting at His feet and learning OF HIM!! Frankly we never sought the things we did, but were continually amazed at how many scratched and clawed for what they thought we had. Thank God we were delivered from dead works religion !!
    He that began a good work in you WILL complete it. Your hand is on the plow, don’t look back, walk the walk, and the peace that passes all understanding will carry you through….it sure beats being alone in a crowd of thousands of people who are alone in a crowdof thousands….!


  50. Ian, Sola Scriptura, in a brief summary, says that all of God’s truth for the Church, and therefore, all guidance, comes through the Word of God. Mark Driscoll and many others are claiming to hear verbally and authoritatively from God. In the Church since the passing of the Apostles the Holy Spirit guides the Church through the leading via Word of God as the arbiter of all “impressions” or whatever people believe they are getting from God. In other words, if one is being lead by the God then it all has to come back to the Word of God. It is the authority, not Mark Driscoll’s ability to hear directly and verbally from God, which displaces the authority of the Word of God, i.e. Sola Scriptura. There is much more to it, of course, but out side the scope of the comment section of my blog.


  51. Mickey Merrie, thank you for the encouragement. I prayed for years that God would find me a church…instead, He gave me a renewed relationship with my family, brought my husband to Him and found me friends who are like minded. I never realized how entrenched in tradition and how spoon fed I was until I really started reading the Word of God for myself…sometime in 1998. By myself, I mean without having to think that I had to agree with everything a preacher taught me.

    I was naive, and still am in many many ways. But in the past, I always assumed that if someone said they were a christian, then they were. No questions asked. I assumed that if you said Jesus was your savior, that we were all talking about the same Jesus. I knew mormons and JW’s and Islam etc were wrong, but didn’t realize there was so much in christianity itself that was a mess. I just figured if you went to seminary, you were the authority and who was I to think that the Bible could very possibly be saying something different than my preacher or teacher said it did. I was one of those christians just doing my thing thinking everything was just fine…but it wasn’t. So God had to lift a pretty heavy hand on my, but thankfully as He promised, not more than I could bear, and when it was, He rescued me…and He changed everything. I’m so thankful for what He has decided is His best for me. He may have other plans in the future for me, but for now, I have to be content and just rely on Him.

    I get sad though sometimes because I wonder who’s right, who’s wrong. I hear terms like “watchblogger”, as Mike mentioned in his post last night…and I wonder what exactly that is? I understand there are folks out there who think they have a monopoly on truth and everyone else is wrong and they honestly spend their time just looking for all the wrong…but others that are called “watchbloggers” are truly only trying to stand firm in the things that Scripture teaches. I don’t understand who decides what is right and what is wrong to warn about. I thought the Scripture and the Holy Spirit did that? After all, the bereans were commended for searching and double checking the scriptures to make sure what they were hearing was true. They even double checked the apostles…and were commended for it! I certainly understand that there are some things that God is silent on or that we won’t understand til they come to pass, but the stuff He is not silent on, I really believe we should be reasoning together. If we did that, we wouldn’t all be dancing to a different song all the time…anyway, enough of the rant. It’s old already. 🙂 (I’m a girl, so apparently I’m allowed to use smiley faces)

    So I have a few blogs and sites that I go to, and I continue to learn from and am very thankful for them and their “watchblogging” because I was one of those folks who needed to be warned and there are lots of us out there who have red flags popping up in our heads but don’t quite know why and we push those flags to the side for the sake of unity and we end up confused, and stay that way until someone with boldness comes along and shows us that there really is a reason why we are feeling the way we do.


  52. Question. Why are we to “test the spirits to see if they are from God?” 1John 4:1….Because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Here is some of the context:
    1 John 4 King James Version ——————————————————————————–
    1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    Practicly nobody is testing the spirits today it would seem.
    Being lead by the Holy Spirit, I can hear from God today. That being said, I must have a basis for testing what I believe I am hearing. Most who claim to hear, never go near the above verses….I shouldn’t need to tell you why. Further most in the pews judge the Word of God by their experiences. This is 180 degrees from the Truth. We are rather to test our experiences by the Word of God in context. Have you not seen that every “special saint” seems to claim or operate under a different paradigm…as if they are annointed or have a special annointing. Well, the word Christ means the Annointed One.
    Thus we should really read his name/title as Jesus the Christ or Jesus the ONLY Annointed One. Once He came in the flesh, and further gave us the Holy Spirit, once we are placed in Him and He in us, we have no need of our being annointed to hear Him. Thus the rest of 1 John 4 comes in to play…For they then by their claim of being one of the many annointed ones fulfills the statement of where they are from.

    Can I hear from God today? Yes. Will it be extra biblical? Only to the extent that it relates to you and I. BUT IT BETTER BE TESTED BY THE WORD OF GOD IN CONTEXT, AND GO NO FURTHER! We have the Bible for a reason, and we have the Holy Spirit for a reason, and we are to test the spirits for a reason….Please re-read 1 John 4 again (and beyond) to see the Truth

    What Jesus does for Mike, or Ken Silva, or me or anybody, is promised to everybody! We are parts of the body afterall.
    Pray for discrenment, and the tools needed to do His Will, and NEVER depend upon anyone else to do these things for you. Man will fail you, but The Christ NEVER will.


  53. @DawnMarie,

    Yes sister I am in a good church (PCA) but the last two churches I was in had major issues and conscience and Scripture compelled me to leave them both. Much pain, but God is a gracious and merciful God.

    But I am posting just to encourage you sister. Let me tell you this, there are men out there who are faithfully preaching the Word of God, so please do not lose heart. When we left our SGM church, everyone said “where will you go, there is nowhere else to go” but we found a church where week after week the pastor opens up the Scriptures and gives us Christ and Him crucified and risen for our justification.

    Enjoy this season with your family and friends, but be encouraged that God always has His faithful men, His preachers.

    God bless you and your family,



  54. @ Mike


    “if one is being lead by the God then it all has to come back to the Word of God. It is the authority, not Mark Driscoll’s ability to hear directly and verbally from God, which displaces the authority of the Word of God, i.e. Sola Scriptura.”
    AMEN! The thing is that Mark Driscoll would probably agree with you here. He probably believes that any leadings he has do not conflict with the Word of God. The onus would be on his critics to prove that whatever he says God spoke to him conflicts with the Word of God. (Btw, i don’t endorse Mark Driscoll)

    To be led and taught by the Holy Spirit (in harmony with the truth of Scripture, never against) is the NORMAL Spirit-filled Christian life.

    Otherwise, how can Jesus be LORD of someone’s life, if they just do their own will and don’t seek the will of God? To do the will of God means that God reveals His will so we can do it. It’s not good enough to say that we get all leading and guidance from the Bible.

    Which is worse, to miss it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or to not even believe in His guidance and just be self-willed, doing anything you want as long as it doesn’t conflict with the Bible?

    The latter is worse and even more cultic.



  55. Ian you said, “The thing is that Mark Driscoll would probably agree with you here. He probably believes that any leadings he has do not conflict with the Word of God.” The problem is that you are making a supposition in the realm of “probably.” You do not know nor can any one of us know that he is really hearing from God. Also, when someone has that level of “hearing from God” then that places them in authority over the Word as I said and THAT is what is cultic not what you stated. You said, “It’s not good enough to say that we get all leading and guidance from the Bible.” That is an heretical statement. Sorry, and that means once you get your leading elsewhere than you are being led subjectively instead of from God’s objective Word and that makes you a heretic. No sir, what you are proposing is cultic not what we are stating or are standing firm on and will never retreat from.


  56. Ian, yes I do have chapter and verse, it’s Matthew 28:19-20. We make disciples by preaching the Gospel to ALL and those who respond become disciples. You are are the one who is nitpicking to the point of making what is true look like something that is false.


  57. Ian, are you for real? I have done nothing but respond Biblically to your unChristian charges. Yes, that is right. What you are proposing is unChristian and I and all real Christians reject it. It is mysticism and is not real Christianity at all. I gave you the command given to us by Christ Himself. We obey it and as people respond, we disciple them. That is how the Church is grown. Period. That is the truth. You are accusing me and accusing me and accusing me over and over and I have been patient with you, but it is over. Unless you stop this badgering heretical attack you are no longer welcome to comment here. Got it?


  58. Mike, what you’re saying concerning the crowd scenario i described is that IT’S TOTALLY UP TO YOU TO DECIDE WHOM YOU SHOULD WITNESS TO. You are on your own. You cannot expect the Holy Spirit to indicate to you that you should speak to a specific person (and then, specifically which Scriptures you should speak to them).



  59. Ian – no mortal is given knowledge as to whom God has elected unto new life in Christ. We see fruit of the new life AFTER God regenerates a man – not before. Therefore, we proclaim the Gospel of Christ to dead men everywhere, trusting God to save those to whom He has given ears to hear. THAT is what Mike is saying, in response to the Great Commission.


  60. Ian, In that case, we are told in Scripture to be Christlike in the face of suffering and thus draw those who are outside of Christ to hear the Gospel. You see, you are viewing the Gospel form the perspective of its all about man, but its not. Its all about God and His glory. He is the one who elects and draws and saves. Read the book of Acts (the entire book). In any case, as long as your presuppositions are skewed to view the Gospel from the perspective of its all about man then you will never understand this. God is Sovereign and He is the one who does it all so no its not up to me to decide anything, but up to God who is Sovereign over all. Do you see the disconnect now Ian? Until you understand this, we have nothing to discuss.


  61. Manifred said it real plain……Therefore, we proclaim the Gospel of Christ to dead men everywhere, trusting God to save those to whom He has given ears to hear. AMEN…. AMEN….. AMEN and again I say AMEN

    Just as God opened Lydia’s heart in the book of Acts to receive the “TRUE” gospel, he must do that for us as well.

    Mike, thank you for the bible truth’s that you bring forth from the Word of God.


  62. Teresa – I have the same relationship with my reading glasses 🙂 My screen name is taken from my childhood fondness of Tom Terrific’s faithful companion, Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog. He doesn’t get offended by anything – especially having his name misspelled 🙂 This Manfred was given ears to hear in 1994, some 30 years after told by two legged creatures that he was “saved”.


  63. Manfred, I like your Avatar since I was a child in the 1950’s and Mighty Mouse was one of my favorite cartoons. I remember Tom Terrifc very well as well. I think today’s kids are deprived…


  64. To Ian…
    There is a HUGE difference between being “led by the spirit of God” and hearing audible voices and preaching them with authority equal to Scripture. To group them together as one concept and then call anyone who defends the authority of Scripture as “cultic” is illogical. It is a “straw-man” argument, and to be honest, looks as though you are being quarrelsome and deliberately trying to pick a fight. I would highly suggest you review your position so that you do not fall prey to the Driscolls of the world when they knock on your door with a “God told me to tell you” message. Your theology would mandate you listen, which might lead to your destruction.


  65. Ian said above: “To do the will of God means that God reveals His will so we can do it. It’s not good enough to say that we get all leading and guidance from the Bible.”

    Too bad he didn’t stop with the first sentence, because he went on to contradict himself in the second.

    Yes, God reveals His will so we can do it. God wants us to know His will. Now, the question is, where does God reveal His will?

    Answer: in the BIBLE

    Enough said.


  66. Gnosticism pure Gnosticism

    The classic heresy of Gnosticism, which taught that a “spiritual elite” possessed “hidden knowledge” of the divine realm which placed their personal revelations, spiritual experiences, and private interpretation of Scripture above the ordinary revelation of God’s Word.

    How many time’s have I heard…. I know it is not in the bible “but” God told me or it is in the bible but they add their own twist, their own interpretation and take God’s word out of context.

    When God’s word and what Christ did on the cross is not enough in our lives… there is but one alternative ”DECEPTION”

    just my two cents……….


  67. Mike,

    Maybe I’m just misunderstanding this conversation, but it seems that you, and others, are saying that Christians do not “hear” from God at all, except by reading the Bible (or, hearing the Word preached?). Is this what you are saying? Please clarify. Thanks.


  68. Carol, the whole discussion has to do with Mark Driscoll’s claim that he verbally heard from God and so on. We are saying that what he is doing with that is a violation of Sola Scriptura because those make those sort of claims eventually will elevate themselves and their messages themselves above the authority of Sacred Scripture. This is making fallible man and a subjective message put over the objective truth of God’s Word and we reject that. That is what we are discussing.


  69. Amen to Mike’s answer. I would add that, since Scripture tells us Scripture is sufficient for righteous lives in Christ Jesus, and the Canon is closed – what would God say that He has not said in His special revelation? What do we need to near from God that He has not told us? I think it boils down to a desire to know what God gives no indication He cares for us to know – as if we know better than He; revealing a lack of Trust in Him. Itching ears want to hear a new word; faithful ears are content with what has been said, knowing we will never complete the process of discovering God and self.


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