I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.

For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. (Jeremiah 20:7-11, ESV)

You’d Best Know The Times You Live In

I have said this on a number of occasions lately, but it remains just as true, the Christian had better know what time he currently lives in. So many are glibly saying, “I think the Lord may come back in our lifetime.” However, it becomes obvious that way too many of them have not really thought this through. For instance, as pastoral advisor and contributor to Ingrid Schlueter’s very much in discussion Slice of Laodicea website, what’s being said about it is indeed very close to me. Let me point out that we are well aware that there are a growing number who feel it has become a “hate site.”

Make no mistake here in this particular article I speak strictly for myself when I categorically state that in my particular view this is quite correct, Slice is a hate site. We absolutely hate sin. Everyone agrees that God hates sin, for it is written:

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

O I dunno, any chance any of this is currently going on within Christian circles? Have you ever seen virtually any “Praise The Lord” program on Trinity Blasphemy Network lately? O how about comparing Rick Warren’s butchery of the Bible in order to twist and mangle Scripture to make it appear to drive his own people-pleasing purpose. Largely using that travesty of a translation that Contemplative pastor Eugene Peterson calls The Message to accomplish this. And then there’s the Emergent Church rebellion against the authority of the Bible itself.

Each of these groups that form the major pillars of the Devil’s Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD), duplicitous daughter of the apostate Church of Rome, quite understandably push their warped Robert Schulleresque psycho-babble version of “love” upon the Body of Christ in order to continue spreading sin. But the Bible they virtually ignore also says:

They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your Name. Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against You? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. (Psalm 139:20-22)

In the foreword to Leonard Ravenhill’s excellent book Why Revival Tarries A.W. Tozer writes:

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.

In the Kingdom of God things are not too different. God has always had His specialists whose chief concern has been the moral breakdown, the decline in the spiritual health of the nation or the church. Such men were Elijah, Jeremiah, Malachi and others of their kind who appeared at critical moments in history to reprove, rebuke, and exhort in the name of God and righteousness.

A thousand or ten thousand ordinary Old Testament priests or New Testament pastors and 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, and 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.

The Love Train Jumped Track

Now you should be able to see that the evangelical “Love Train” has some serious misguided misunderstandings about God’s view of sin and how He wants His Body of Christ to react to it. Yes, the Lord tells us to love our enemies, but as you should be able to see from the above Scriptures we surely must also abhor what these people are doing in His Name. So let’s think for a moment about what the prophet Jeremiah himself says in our opening text above. After all his words have only passed the test to be included in the canon of Holy Scripture twice–for both Jews and Christians.

Dr. Charles Feinberg gives us some important background into the man many refer to as “the weeping prophet.”

Any study of the person of Jeremiah makes one immediately aware of his uniqueness. His life is unlike any other in Scripture… His was not a happy life, at least outwardly, for it was marked by constant sadness; his expressions of sorrow are classic… To study him carefully is to ascertain the meaning and ministry of the prophet of God. Only he among the prophets shows his personal feeling as he proclaims God’s message;…

by birth a priest, by grace a prophet; by the trials of life a bulwark for God’s truth; by daily spiritual experience one of the greatest exponents of prophetic faith in his unique relation to God; by temperament gentle and timid, yet constantly contending against the forces of sin; and by natural desire a seeker after the love of a companion, his family, friends, and, above all, his people—which were all denied him…

His life may be characterized as being one long martyrdom… Jeremiah was born at Anathoth about 646 B.C. and died, probably in Egypt, not long after 586. He was called to the prophetic office in 626 (1:2; 25:3) and served in it for more than forty years. The Lord did not permit him to marry (16:2). Though his public ministry was long and checkered, there is no indication that he ever had any disciples; and his closest companion was his faithful secretary and scribe, Baruch the son of Neriah. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, CD Rom)

Sound like a fun job? Or can you now see the life of the prophet Jeremiah in stark contradiction to the gross distortion of some carefree Christian life put forth by today’s man-loving new evangelical compromisers in the ECoD as their purpose-driven emerging so-called “abundant” best life now? Just what do you expect someone like me to do, simply smile and tell everyone “all is well” while the Church is on fire and crumbling down all around them? Well, read my keyboard: It is not going to happen. So there’s no sense in trying to tell me that I am “harsh and unloving” as long as the Book of Jeremiah is still Scripture. Men like me know what God has commanded us to do.

Telling The Truth Has Never Been Popular

My many detractors need to come to understand it’s just not my responsibility that so many evangelical Christian leaders and teachers have become so soft and terribly timorous throughout the years. And because they have become lukewarm men like me–and I am hardly the only one–now seem by contrast to be “so mean,” which is how Emergent “communicator” and pastor Dan Kimball has referred to me. However, as Dr. Walter Martin once said, “It is not unloving to tell the truth. You can get in a lot of trouble for doing it, but it is not unloving.” He was absolutely right and he is backed up by what Jesus Himself tells us as His disciples:

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of My Name, for they do not know the One who sent Me…” (John 15:18-21)

It’s been pointed out many, many times but this does not appear to be a mandate that at some point in time the “hard to believe” Gospel of Jesus Christ is suddenly going to become popular with the world. The “If” in verse 18 above means that the Christian is eventually going to come into conflict with the world system of Satan which hates God and His adopted in Christ. That this is inevitable is clear from the end of verse 19 – “That is why the world hates you.” The lame argument that we’re “not Jesus” so we won’t know who these worldly people are and therefore shouldn’t try and criticize them is also destroyed here as the Master tells us:

I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the Word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My Name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me. (vv. 19-21, KJV)

Did you catch that? Jesus clearly says, “If they obeyed My teaching, they will obey yours also.” Why? Because the Christian is to be teaching the exact same things his Master did. This was always to be part of the Great Commission right from the beginning – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”(Matthew 28:19-20). So now can you see why the Hollow Men of the Emergent Church of the Devil’s new liberalism have brazenly stepped forward to sow confusion as to what it is Christ would have us teach?

Men and women, for those who have been given eyes to see it truly can’t be more obvious. So if these people do not obey the historic orthodox Christian faith recovered by our Lord’s Reformers then they obey not His Word. And if we don’t warn believers of these dangers and truths then they are certainly not going to be prepared for the kind of onslaughts now coming from uninformed believers who actually think they are doing the Body of Christ a service by criticizing men like me. But the truth is that following the Example of My Lord I for one am not afraid to speak up for proper doctrine. Jesus says:

“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.” (John 16:1-4)

The World Loves Its Own

And then a little later on in the Bible the very same man who recorded the above Words from the LORD God Almighty Himself–and one can certainly make a case this is a pretty good Source for proper Christian doctrine–the Apostle John tells us:

They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 John 4:5-6)

I would say based on all of the above men who are enormously popular with both Christians and non-Christians alike such as Rick Warren and Rob Bell and Brian McLaren and Joel Osteen that the burden of proof of their faithfulness to the actual message of the Christian faith really resides with them. And you should also know that it is also quite possible for us to point out those who are teaching error and not necessarily be condemning them as unbelievers. There are those who have noted that I will often use words which I feel led are designed to pierce their pride and cause them to give serious reflection as to where they do actually stand with the Lord they profess to be speaking for.

And the reason I do so is because of the lateness of the hour and the grave danger of evangelical leaders and teachers not only refusing to deal with sin, but are now actually inviting wolves in sheep’s clothing in to teach their own pastors. O how pathetic is that? Take for example Emergent Guru Brian McLaren who is a General Session speaker at Zondervan’s National Pastor’s Convention 2007. However Steve Camp has already brought out the danger of this foolish decision when he correctly stated:

Brian McLaren is without doubt the unprecedented leader and poster-child of the Emergent Church/Emerging Church ecumenical postmodern movement within evangelicalism today. He and his minions have challenged two thousand years of orthodox biblical Christianity on its most essential doctrines (the veracity and authority of Scripture; justification by faith alone; imputation of the righteousness of Christ; penal substitutionary atonement; the omniscience of God, Hell-eternal punishment, etc.) with his own hybrid postdmodern version; and is winning ground among some evangelicals with his heretical and aberrant beliefs.

No longer hiding in the shadows of the evangelical camp now rank liberal heretics like McLaren and his compadre Tony Jones are allowed to openly question cardinal doctrines of the Christian Church like the inerrancy of the Bible and the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The most important question that remains is actually a question of love: Christian, who do love more? Christ Jesus, or the men who will not obey His Word? For this is what Jesus is getting at when He says – “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Matthew 12:30).