On Emergent Church leaders calling apologetics and discernment
ministries "Online Discernment Ministries" (ODM)
by Sandy Simpson, 5/14/10
It does not surprise me at all that prominent Emergent Church (EC) leadership and others associated with that movement would use name calling as a way to try to shut up opposition to their false teachings. This is typical for Christian liberals. Rather than answer to what they have been writing in their books and teaching in public for years, they resort to name calling. The term they are using lately is ODM meaning online discernment ministries. They use that term in a disparaging way but the term itself shows that they do not know how to do research and are not interested in the facts about many apologetics ministries. They did not bother to find out that many discernment ministries, such as mine, were around not only before Twitter, Facebook and blogs but before there was even a viable Internet. I was posting discernment articles on a BBS (bulletin board service), for those of you with long memories, long before the Internet came to my area of the world. By area of the world I mean I have been a commissioned foreign missionary since 1989 and my parents since 1962. I was on Guam when I became concerned over deception in the church, and later started my online presence so that pastors in the islands could access information about what was coming into their churches from various directions. My full time ministry is still that of discipling church leadership from the islands and continues out of Hawaii.
Not only have the EC leaders "dissed" me but they are also putting down hundreds of other ministries whose careful research and articles are posted on my Deception In The Church web site. None of those I associate with, who are being portrayed as little conspiracy theory nuts who run web sites out of their garages, are doing anything of the sort. Most of those associated with my site, whom these EC leaders are trying to sideline, are pastors (some with large churches), teachers, missionaries, apologists, professors and other concerned Christians. When these apologetics and discernment ministries write articles they give citations as to where the quotes they are using can be found and are very exact in their criticisms, yes, criticisms of false teaching and false prophecy. Those who cannot defend what they are teaching often use broad brushing techniques, like making up the term "ODM", attempting to discredit people without any facts. Those who can defend the truth lay out their demolishing arguments with pinpoint precision.
I take very personally the broad stroke attacks coming from EC leaders against those I know to be obedient to God's Word. I know many of the people in apologetics ministries. Some have written many books, are pastoring churches, and are involved in evangelistic and discipling ministries both in the US and abroad. Many travel and are asked to speak at churches and conferences around the globe. They sponsor orphanages in Africa, help poor people in their area in a number of ways, and answer emails sent to them as opposed to many "ministries". These are not little hackers trying to cause division in the body of Christ. They are against those who cause division over false doctrine and practice and are not afraid to say so. They risk their reputations and sometimes even their lives to bring this message to the Church through the web and other means. They often don't ask for money when requested to come speak at a conference yet accept any freewill offering when they are offered. Some are struggling financially but that does not stop them from speaking the truth.
Leonard Sweet recently used the term ODM in an alleged attempt to justify himself. He tried to defend himself to say he believes in the core doctrines of the Church. What he did not say is how his books end up denying most of the core doctrines; in particular the nature of God and the condition of man. I am not telling people to necessarily listen to me. They can read the quotes in the following article and decide for themselves if Sweet is a true Biblical believer. We don't judge his final salvation but we can judge whether or not he is teaching heresy and if we should then stop listening to him and reading his books. I leave that up to you. I have made my decision BASED ON THE FACTS!
Leonard Sweet Quotes compiled by Sandy Simpson, 3/10
When the influence and income of false teachers are affected by them being turned down to speak, it is a victory for the Church. But it also makes them hopping mad. I say: "Let them peddle their tripe elsewhere". True Christians don't need people like Sweet to tell them they don't know how to witness to the world because they haven't turned the Bible into a postmodern manuscript. Read these articles to see what I mean.
Leonard Sweet articles
True believers need to reeducate people who are lost in a fantasy world of postmodernism and relativism into the paradigm of absolute Truth found in God's living eternal Word!
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Ps 119:89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.