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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Feeling Good at the Church of Holy Karaoke

You've had It happen to you, I know you did. Maybe you're afraid to talk about It, maybe you're like me and still trying to figure out what It was that just happened, or maybe you're in shock that It happened at all and you're trying to deal with It using the tried and true method of denial.

What it It that I'm alluding to? It is hard to describe It and not insult someone, but It happens quite often and I'm trying to figure out a loving, Christian way of dealing with It. Let me give you an example - you have a friend that attends a large Karaoke bar Church whose pastor wears tight jeans and a perma-smile and seems to find himself in every bible verse that he uses. You mention to this friend "That Oprah Winfrey lady talks like a Christian but she sells new-age false teaching to millions of people and claims that Jesus didn't come to die on the cross but..."

Your voice drifts off because your friend is looking at you like you just grew a third eye in the middle of your forehead. So you shift gears and come at this new-age sentimentalism from a different direction. "She does this in the same way that Joel Osteen tends to..." and you've lost them before you get to the first adjective. Then all of a sudden It happens. This person you knew as a bible loving Christian starts defending Oprah and Joel; 

How can you attack someone who's just telling us how great it is to be a Christian?

Of course it's in the bible, she wouldn't have said it if it wasn't!

How can you be so judgmental? The bible says you're not supposed to judge

You're wrong because I don't hear the love in your voice

Yes, I've heard all of these, and more, coming from people I thought knew better, they defy all expectations and jump in with both feet to defend the indefensible, People who I know have studied the bible their whole lives suddenly toss aside all that knowledge of God's word when confronted with what they perceive is an assault on their celebrity false teacher of choice. It's almost like these false teachers become a protestant pope in their eyes, they speak ex cathedra when donning the Skinny Jeans of Office and what ever comes out of their mouth is good and right, regardless of content.

Take Mr. Steven Furtick. This young multimillionaire recently accused my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of being a deceitful, underhanded liar. Furtick stood there in front of a thousand goats, dressed like a thug, and accused Jesus of being deceitful over and over. Mr. Furtick went so far as to claim that even on the CROSS, dying in mortal agony, Jesus lied to the people he was executed to save and not ONE person in Furtick's audience stood and yelled "BLASPHEMY!" not a single soul demanded he stop with these foul lies. Instead they murmured approval, and then they muttered 'amen', and then they began to clap.

How does one deal with this in a caring, Christian way? 

These lost souls aren't looking for the word of God, many of them already know the word of God and choose to ignore the truth in favor of the story they're being told. They're not looking for salvation, they've found something more important to them. Jesus won't give it to them and we cannot give them what they're looking for; validation of their feelings.

The world of the New-Age/Passion for Profit church is built around feelings, from the Starbucks-ette coffee bar with the churchy name in the foyer to the "worship team" warming up with some Black Sabbath, to Benny Hinn's Jacket of Smite on the main stage it's all about manufacturing feelings in the congregation. This is what the New Age teaching is all about, the bible is used as a tool to focus the participants thoughts, feelings, and opinions on what the leader wants them to think rather than what God is saying. 

If God really uses "glory clouds" or "Angel feathers" as a means of communicating with His elect, do you think that these "miracles" would have happened before the advent of Bethel Redding "church"? When Jesus spoke of "...An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it..." He must have been talking to some other evil and adulterous generation, it certainly couldn't be this evil and adulterous generation, after all, we feel so good about ourselves!

How important are feelings at the Church of Holy Karaoke? Vastly important! Feelings are the foundation of sand that the Church of Holy Karaoke is built upon. One walks into the church and is greeted not only by a greeter, but by the smell of roast and freshly ground arabica beans wafting from the Sacred Grounds coffee bar, and on the other end of the foyer the Book Store/Souvenir Shop is doing brisk business selling digital copies of Pastor Feelgood's latest sermon series "Being The Best You That You Can Be" 

Inside the cavernous auditorium the band is rocking, the words to the top 40 songs being flashed on the big screens in PowerPoint splendor. and of course the crowd is familiar with them because they have all heard the same songs played over and over on K-LOVE this week. All that's needed is a bouncing ball to follow and you have a 1930's theater cartoon. No one questions the "Jesus is my boyfriend" lyrics because they just feel right. The audience is warmed up and ready for Pastor Feelgood to grace the crowd with the Osteenesque "God Wants to Bless You, And He Will, as Soon as You Do Your Part" sermon.

How much of my illustration is exaggeration? Unfortunately none of it is, not one iota. Even the nonsensical sermon theme i used - that's actually a real Joel Osteen sermon theme that thousands of people actually believed. Everything at the Church of Holy Karaoke is calculated to inspire feelings in you, from the delicious cup of half caff soy milk latte caramel macchiato, to the NAR inspired tomes and the "Jesus is my Other husband" bumperstickers in the bookstore, to the top 40 unmusical percussion assault labeled as "Worship Music", to the Christian flavored homily, to the "Get out of tribulation free" card that was handed out for no other reason than to be born in the right place at the right time.

It was a Joel Osteen-ite that originally pointed out to me what was the sharpest blade on Satan's Swiss army knife. We were discussing Mr. Osteen while dining at the best BBQ in Colorado and I mentioned that I didn't think much of Mr. Osteen's theology. The follower of The Joel responded "Why not? he makes you feel good to be a Christian"

It suddenly became clear to me - Osteen, Furtick, the NAR, they're all peddling the same snake oil, a balm of lies so nauseating and toxic that even the most casual reader of the bible could spot them from 40 miles away, up wind. Satan's big blade, his big lie from the depths of hell is feelings.

Isn't grace by faith enough to make you feel good to be a Christian? In the Garden of Eden we turned our back on God and He banned us from living in His glory, but He still provided us with a path back to Him. Why do I need to lean on the false promises of worldly riches from someone who is not a man of God when I have faith in Jesus and His gospel and in return I receive the priceless gift of spending eternity in God's presence?

In Islam salvation is by faith and works. A Hindu needs to go through an eternal hell called reincarnation, suffering a miserable life over and over, a celestial game of "groundhog day" to reach Nirvana. The Mormon religion has a long convoluted path to redemption including Faith in a made up Jesus, Repentance, Baptism in the Mormon cult, Laying on of Hands by a Member of the Melchizedek Priesthood (of which the bible says there's only one member) Ordination into the Melchizedek Priesthood and we have to stop there, not even to the half way point of the requirements in Mormon salvation because ordination is only available to men, which means salvation is not available to women. We don't have to go through any of that to receive God's most precious gift, all we have to do is obey His word and have faith.

Isn't that feeling wonderful enough?

Emotions are our Achilles heel. How many of us have seen two people leap into a disastrous marriage because they were so much in love only to find out a few months later that they were completely and utterly incompatible. Fifteen minutes of rational thought would have shown them the folly of their way, but they let their emotions rule their lives. 

Have you ever heard of anyone who committed adultery because it made good sense? 

Have you ever heard of a murder that wasn't a hate crime? 

When Satan tempted Eve was he using a logical argument or did he appeal to her on an emotional level? Look at 2 Corinthians 11:3

I'm not saying that emotions are a bad thing, God created emotions and Satan takes advantage of them just as he did with sex. Sex is one of God's most wonderful ideas and Satan has taken it and used it to our destruction. Satan does the same thing with our emotions and he does it in our churches.

Some people long for emotional experiences to convince them that they are saved. They may have attended a "revival" with rhythmic music, hypnotic preaching, clapping, excitement, and people claiming to "feel the Spirit moving." People depend on God's word coming to them in a feeling of warmth, peace, conviction, etc. People listen for "God's still small voice" rather than picking up a bible and reading his words in scripture. In other words they're using their emotions to guide them and ignoring what God is saying to them right now on the printed page, 

The Church of the Holy Karaoke is not above using emotions to their own purposes. From the throbbing top 40 music that rattles the rafters, to the song and dance act on stage, to the weepy preacher who appeals to social justice rather than scripture, who heals the afflictions of those gathered in the front row, who teaches them a revelation not found in scripture. There's even people suddenly speaking in tongues no one in the building can understand or laying on the ground in convulsions, and people lining up to be "slain in the spirit" by the man at the front with control over the offering plate.

People think this is all spiritual in nature, but where in the bible does it say that this is what is expected when worshiping Him? The bible, the true and only source of God's word, makes it abundantly clear that feelings are not to be trusted. We can't tell if they are real, rational, or even appropriate. And our experiences are highly unreliable as well. Who among us has made an assumption based on what you thought was happening in front of you only to find out that your assumption was wrong because you had misunderstood the circumstances?
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)
I'm not saying that it's wrong to get excited about God's love, but we need to keep in mind that our emotions cannot control our passion for God. That leaves us to wolves whose motto becomes "Let us prey" And God clearly doesn't want our mindless emotionalism Mark 12:30 clearly tells us that Jesus tells us to love god with not only all of our heart, but all of our Soul, and all of our Mind, and all of our Strength.
And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.” Jonathan Edwards 
So how do we help those whose emotions have been used so viciously? Any suggestions? I'll see what I can find but I'm hoping for a few suggestions.


  1. Hi Doug,

    And here we see the devil again using the same error he used 500 years ago - feelings as the judge of the Word. Your post is an excellent apology against "enthusiasm", which in the Book of Concord is defined as the that the Holy Spirit is given and works apart from the preceding Word read, spoken, or preached.

    And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare. 4] For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word.

  2. Hello Doug,
    I pray this finds You doing better my Brother~? When You come back, You can certainly see the Holy Spirit at work in Your life~!What a way to start off May, in a big way~! I'm sure You've heard the riddle, "If April shower's bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring~? "Pilgrims~! Anyway "pilgrim,"I'm ready to go to work and continue to warn those brethren, of those who would lead them to Hell~!I've got to say, thats one of the best thing I've ever seen written to expose all the ridiculousness~! You are a superb writer and can hold an audience with a balance of humor, interest and indeed Holy Spirit inspired, by the gift He has given You. Your blog needs more exposure and I'm going to spread it far and wide~!May he continue to bless Your work, until He comes to take us home~!!!
    In His Love,
    Mark E. Gallagher

    1. Thank you for those kind words, and with the good Lord's help I will be able to get part 2 of this article out sooner rather than later. I identified the problem, now how do we help those that are caught in the snare of these false teachers. We really can't help by attacking the false teachers, the duped will circle the wagons and defend even more vigorously. And I really can't blame the false teachers, they're playing their role in God's plan of salvation - just like Judas did.