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Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spurgeon Thursday - Discernment and The Shack

Those who know anything of Charles Spurgeon know one of his. That quote is beautiful in it's simplicity and its accuracy. Here it is in its Victorian beauty:
Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right. ~ C. H. Spurgeon
The reason why I bring this up can be summed up in two words:
The Shack
During a discussion at my Tuesday night bible study (Tuesdays we're studying John) the subject of false gospels came up and I mentioned two very popular false gospels "Love Wins" by Rob Bell, and "The Shack" by Paul Young. One member of the discussion disagreed with me and called the book a good novel. He said it was sweet and kind but "nothing anyone could take seriously." I was incredibly shocked because here was a man, raised on the bible and student of God's words for over 6 decades, leader of many bible study groups, and a Godly Christian calling this heap of distortions "a nice novel". I pray he was looking at it through a filter of over half a century of discernment and was now immune to the fact that people other than himself can fall prey to the lies of The Shack.
It has been well remarked by a great writer, that he never knew a man who held any great theological error, who did not also hold a doctrine which diminished the depravity of man. ~ C. H. Spurgeon

Another member of the group, a loving, wonderful Christian and a man I'm overjoyed to call a brother in Christ, said that we should not worry because it's the job of the Holy Spirit to lead people away from false teachings like The Shack so "It's all good"

Is it the Holy Spirit's job to lead us away from false teachings? If that was true then why are we warned over and over again by Jesus and Paul about false teachers? Going one step further, if it were the Holy Spirit's job to lead us away from false teaching and toward the bible, why then have we been given this commission
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
If the Holy Spirit would do all of that, why are there bible study classes? Why are there pastors and preachers and elders and ministers? Could a 'baby Christian 'understand the lies and distortions that make up The Shack? Not hardly. The Shack is rat poison wrapped in sweet chocolaty dishonesty. Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and not all of us are gifted with the same gifts and none of us are gifted to the same degree
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
One of these gifts is the distinguishing of spirits, or as we call it, "discernment":  the God-given ability to distinguish between the truth of the Word and the deceptive doctrines propagated by demons. We are all exhorted to be discerning (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1) but you will notice that some in the body of Christ can spot a false doctrine spanning back across the ages while others are tripping over themselves to get tickets to the next Rachel Held Evans event.
Men go after novel and false doctrines because they do not really know the truth. ~ C. H. Spurgeon
The fact is, God did not save us so we can sit and sip coffee in a cosy atmosphere, but so we can serve and one great service is to edify each other so we can faithfully go out and spread His gospel. And His gospel is not found in The Shack. The shack was written by a bitter, Gospel hating man who sees Jesus “not the Savior from sins” but that Jesus died “a failure and in vain and never saved anyone” and that Jesus “is not even a good man but a liar, a rogue, and a deceiving rascal” These are the words of Paul Young, author of The Shack, and this is what he based his novel on. In that novel this man calls The Church, the creation of Jesus Christ, God's Plan A a diabolical institution and part of a “trinity of terrors.” Why? Because Paul Young has a better idea than God's plan for salvation, it's the false teaching of universalism and The Shack is his primer.
This shall be an infallible test to you concerning anyone’s ministry. If it is man-praising, and man-honouring, it is not of God. ~ C. H Spurgeon
All in all The Shack is a very sweet book, if you eat around the rat poison. Yes, I've been called out on line for daring to complain about such a sweet and loving book and how could I call my self a Christian and be so judgmental - Ma'am I am judgmental because I am told to be by my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus so why aren't you? (1 Corinthians 5:12) If you don't understand why someone is disgusted with The Shack, don't just stick your nose up in the air and turn away, ASK them why. You will probably hear an answer like this:
Satan knows very well that if he comes in black he will be discovered, but if he puts on the garb of an angel of light, then men will think he comes from God, and so will be deceived. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” If they give you not the gospel, if they exalt not Christ, if they bear not witness to salvation through the precious blood, if they do not lift up Jesus Christ as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, have nothing to do with them, speak as they may. ~ C. H. Spurgeon

4 comments:

  1. With on-line discussions I've had, people say I'm being nit-picky and that it's "just a novel," and "just a movie." When I ask why that makes it okay to teach heresy and false doctrine then I get called all sorts of names or told I need to "lighten up" etc. When you ask why they think it's so good you learn because it makes people "feel good." How can you feel good about something which blasphemes God?

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    1. I'm getting the exact same thing. Satan really picked a wicked tool. I've been asking 'believers' who support this theological midden "how much better would this be if it actually followed the word of God?" The answer I get is "Lighten up"

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  2. There are those that think that the message of The Shack is ambiguous. What was he trying to get across? He has removed all doubt with his latest book, Lies We Believe About God. It is beyond "questionable" and well into arch-heresy.

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    1. Thank you Stan, I will have to check that out

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