The book by C.S. Lewis called "Screwtape Letters" was a clever idea in exposing a number of tactics of the enemy. Those principles are still at work today in many churches. Following is a list of some of the things the enemy wants to see in churches and Christians in order to bring them down.
This issue is mainly about the subject of the need for apologetics and discernment. For anyone who is a student of the Bible this should be a settled matter.
Psalm 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
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This week, someone sent us an online article, written by a pastor who said that the church does not need discernment ministries anymore. While the pastor's comments that such ministries are making great money by doing this kind of work were erroneous, it was the pastor's rationale and conclusions about discernment ministries as a whole that were most troubling. His rationale was that discernment ministries should not be criticizing and challenging leaders and teachers within the church (but rather outside the church; e.g cults, Mormonism); his conclusion was the church does not need discernment ministries and people should stop listening to them. He lumped all discernment ministries together, suggesting that they are all jealous of each other and spend a lot of time fighting amongst themselves. He suggested that many of these discernment people will end up dying early anyway because of the high level of stress involved. Needless to say, we found such an article very sad because we knew there would be people who would read it and would be persuaded by the pastor's words.
Traditional Christian believers frequently mention the analogy of the frog that is so slowly and gradually boiled in a kettle of water that it dies before ever realizing what is going on. Yet many believers fail to realize that the very same thing is happening to them as they tell that story. How else do you explain the rapid rise of the "new gospel" movement with hardly a word of concern within the church about what's been happening? As "new gospel" advocates continue to publish bestselling books and flock to the airwaves in ever-increasing numbers to advance their cause, there is a strange silence in the church. Does the church have any idea what is going on?
In recent years the church universal has witnessed false messiahs lead groups of people into the jungle and into urban communes to commit mass suicide, the banning of prayer in public school, mass public marriages of strangers to each other by self-appointed earthbound-gods, the word "hedonism" change from an evil philosophy of worldly living to supposedly being the key to salvation, the rise of the "unity over doctrine" movement, the advancement of the "partially mistaken New Testament prophets" theory in fundamentalist circles, and laughter replacing Bible teaching in many churches. In all this, where has the discernment of the righteous ones gone?
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