From: hrichNew Age, Word-Faith - and other Deceptions!
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 3:51 AM
Subject: name it/claim it article
Are 'Calvary Chapels' trustworthy Christian ekklesiae ('churches')?!
I just read your article about this "new age" nonsense. I am not a Christian and have been seeking, and have gone up against these people.
One statement caught my eye, from joyce meyer. in the article she said that Jesus' dying on the cross didn't save people, that if it did, the two thieves would have done the job. even I can see the fallacy there. the two thieves were not God's son, sent to save. Only Jesus was God's son, so her theory is silly.
I am still searching, but keep running into these sheep in wolves clothing. your article needs to be updated though, to name the new leaders of this nonsense - perry noble, steve furtick, rick warren, to name the three I researched. I am also suspicious of Calvary Chapel as one of this new age group.
thank you for the article. it confirmed what I felt was true of these people.
Date: 6th February 2011
thanks for taking the time to contact us.
Naturally, we are glad to hear you are seeking!
We hope you are making judgements based on the Word of God (as found only in the Bible) - if you need convincing of this read this page!
All other religions that claim they are supported by incredibly accurate manuscript records, whether it be Islam, Buddhism, or any -ism, are deceivers.
Some of the contemporary deceivers faking their 'Christianity' but exposed by Way of Life!
Regarding deception you've encountered, if you Google 'Calvary Chapel heretics' you will find quite a few chapels with this name so - as always - the answer to every teaching is to check it out with the Bible as the Bereans did (Acts 17v11) and as we should with every 'spiritual' truth or experience (1 Thess. 5v19-22). The originator of a large group of 'Calvary Chapels', Chuck Smith did many very Biblical things and this Wikipedia page reveals both sides of his ministry and, despite obvious lapses, such as this: 'In his 1978 book End Times, Smith predicted the generation of 1948 would be the last generation, and that the world would end by 1981 at the latest' - the overall picture was his conviction to preach on the whole Word of God which makes him considerably better than many more famous Christian ministries. While we always hope that all ekklesiae ('churches') and their elders are striving to be perfect as we are instructed (Matthew 5:48), we should always be on our guard and heed this warning:
1 Corinthians 10:12 (ASV) - Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
'Christianity Today' wrote a supposed exposé of Smith and Calvary Chapels (see this page) and Moriel ministries promptly pointed out the false nature of much of the article (see this page) and the fact that this magazine, founded by the very liberal and theologically ignorant Billy Graham, is itself far from true orthodox (meaning 'correct, straight, true') Christianity itself!
The only 'Calvary Chapel' we know personally is in our own city of Cardiff and, since a relative who has read the Bible thoroughly for many years attends regularly, we know that the pastor is a strong, Bible-believing Christian!
The 'Roman Road' points out mankind's need of the Saviour Christ to redeem us from our sins!
We are aware that many of our articles need updating and it is mainly a lack of time, as well as the many branches of deception requiring exposure, that leave us lacking in these areas. Unfortunately it does not look like this will change but we are encouraged to know that many others are covering other aspects and developments on the web and in print. Our articles on Rick Warren (who has his hands in many dangerous pies) can be found using Google or the search engine on the home page - or start on this page.
Regarding the two deceivers you also mentioned - 'perry noble, steve furtick' - they have been thoroughly exposed for the 'sons of Belial' (Deut. 13:13-14) that they are - along with other foolish, fake Christians - on the pages of the excellent Way of Life ministry!
Always remember, Satan is the best counterfeiter! Even those who may appear all sweetness and light could be following this 'angel of light' (2 Cor. 11v12-15) - even if they appear to be a 'Mother Theresa' figure (both this woman and the Papal Church she worked for strive to present a believable front, but their history and anti-Christ behaviour reveals their true nature - for the fastest eye-opener regarding Papal Rome read Dave Hunt's 'A Woman rides the Beast' - ref. http://www.thebereancall.org
The simple question that irrefutably proves that 100% Biblical Christianity is the only True Religion!
Regarding Christian (and all) religions, we recently sent this as part of a reply to a lady who is seeking the truth among the 'older' cults (which we hope to hear she is leaving behind soon!):
Jehovah's Witnesses fall into one of two categories: (1) those who self-righteously assume that God will preserve them through Armageddon on account of their good works, and (2) those who know they are sinners unworthy of eternal life. The Roman Catholic church also preaches an un-Biblical 'works salvation' and false idea of 'grace' which means nobody, not even the 'popes,' believe they will go straight to heaven at the moment of death (purgatory is another false teaching and the various false 'get out of jail cards' - such as 'magic scapulars' - employed by Rome is another 'can of worms').
There is an easy way to find the doctrines that reveal our sin problem and the remedy - and all in the one epistle to Romans (and therefore called the 'Roman Road') - starting here:
Romans3v10-18: '10 as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one." 13 "Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving," "The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness"; 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood, 16 Destruction and misery are in their paths, 17 And the path of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
These verses teach us that none of us are righteous - not even one - and can ever be 'saved' or get to heaven through our own efforts!
Romans 3v21: 'But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus'.
Romans 6v23: 'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
Sin makes it impossible to 'reach God and leads to death (eternal separation from God), but Jesus died and shed His blood to give us the free gift of eternal life!
Romans 5v1-2,6-11: '1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. ... 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Romans 10v9-13: '... that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." ... 13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Romans 8v1-4: '1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.'
Salvation comes the instant we believe these promises and confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour!
Romans 8v38-39: 'For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'
When we are saved nothing can snatch us out of the hand of God (cf. John 10:25-30)
So, as the Christadelphians would claim, independent Bible reading (as above) reveals that "those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8v8). The only ones not in the flesh, and therefore able to please God, are those who have received the Spirit "of sonship" (verse 15) as "fellow heirs with Christ" who would eventually be "glorified" with Him. (verse 17).
The WBTS teaches that there are only 144,000 individuals down through the centuries who receive God's Spirit to become joint heirs with Christ and will end up glorified with Him in heaven (and only a small remnant of a few thousand such spirit-anointed individuals from the WBTS remain alive on earth - and will make up the final total of 144,000) whereas the millions of average Jehovah's Witnesses do not receive the Spirit (as discussed at Romans 8).
But Scripture makes it plain:
'... those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. …but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ …' (Romans 8:8-9, 15-17)
The WBTS actually consigns its "great crowd" of non-spirit-anointed followers to a position where they "cannot please God" no matter how hard they try! But the Bible makes it clear that the solution is to put your trust in Jesus Christ rather than in the WBTS - or any other organisation. Whereas many Jehovah's Witnesses feel really condemned while serving in the WBTS - also because they are taught that many Scriptures do not apply to them - the Bible teaches that true believers are no longer under condemnation.
Instead of trusting in The Watchtower's invitation to "come to Jehovah's organization for salvation" (November 15, 1981, page 21), Jehovah's Witnesses need to respond to Jesus Christ who says, "Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest." Also, "I will never turn away anyone who comes to me." (Matthew 11:28-29; John 6:37 Today's English Version).
There are many other Scriptures that spell out the same doctrine of full and free salvation as a gift of grace through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, e.g. Ephesians 2v8-10:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Note the Order: grace > faith > gift - NOT through GOOD WORKS > then WORK!
So anyone who thinks they can work their way into 'God's good books' and get to heaven by 'being good' needs to realise that they cannot please God until they are doing 'works' in His will - which is only when they are 'in Christ'! If you check through the WBTS Bible, the New World Translation, you find that they have taken out the literal translation - 'in Christ' - and replaced it with 'in union with Christ' to hide the true relationship that God has brought us into 'in Christ.'
Cf. similar verses teaching this truth: >Rom4v1-5; 10v3-4,13; 11v5-6>2Tim1v9>Titus3v5 cf. Gal5v6>James 2v17 (many misunderstand the teaching in James which we have explained on pages to Mormons!)
If you click on the link 'A Free Gift for You' (on many of our pages in the Yellow Box - at the foot of the pages) you will find a link to 'Abide in Christ' and a pictorial 'Roman Road' teaching the same truth.
That really is how easy it is to be 'saved', 'born again' - and, instantly, to be heaven bound (as happened to the 'thief on the cross' (Luke 23:43ff.)! Here are two more important Scriptures that teach that we go to be with Jesus the moment we die (we do not go into 'non-existence' as the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society teaches - or 'purgatory' as the Cult of Rome teaches!):
Philippians 1v21ff.: 'For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labour for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.'
Since Jehovah's Witnesses are taught the heresy of 'Soul Sleep' we ask them:
How would dying be gain if you went into 'non-existence' until you were resurrected?
Why did Paul express the desire to depart [die!] and be with Christ which he calls 'very much better'!
cf. 2 Corinthians 5v6ff.: 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord - 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight - 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
Paul makes the comparison of remaining here in his body, alive, or being 'absent from his body' and being 'at home with the Lord.' If he went into 'non-existence' he obviously would not be 'with the Lord.'
Read carefully and see how 'the sleep' spoken of is that of the body not the soul, i.e. the appearance from the human viewpoint - not as the person really is!
Do not be fooled by the Christadelphian view that you must study for 2 years before you can be baptised, or the idea that water baptism by full immersion is essential for salvation (although it is important as a public witness and comes after belief in Jesus) - this issue, and other points, has been discussed at length with Mormons and Christadelphians and if you type 'thief on the cross' into the search box near the top of our home page you will find discussions of these and other issues.
The many other issues that will come up can be dealt with in time and your other question - 'I don't understand how there can be three persons in God' - is thoroughly answered (starting on this page) in our long answer to a Watchtower Bible & Tract Society article: 'WHO IS Jesus Christ? Is He God?'
If you have any other questions on these matters, or in the future, we will do our best to take the time to answer them.
You should also be aware of the many so-called Christians, such as 'Archbishop' Rowan Williams, who regularly speak out in public (putting both feet in their mouths!) as if speaking for genuine Christians. Just as you find 'factions' in the Christadelphian camp (see the varied replies in their e-mails) so you will find 'factions' in true Christianity - very few believe the Bible is fully God's Word to fallen man, and many are found in 'liberal/heretical' groups such as the Anglican church (many of whom are defecting to Rome, thus proving they never knew the truth in the first place!). Unfortunately, you will find a mixture of such 'wheat and tares' in any church (Matthew 13v25ff.) you join and it is only by knowing the truth from Scripture that you will be able to 'contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3).
We recommend that all Christians who desiire to know and please God should strive to read through the whole Bible at least once a year. If that sounds difficult the reality is that the 'average reader' requires only 12 minutes per day to achieve it (and we all know how much time we tend to fritter away on utter trivia every day!).
It may help you to hold this question in your mind about which version of Christianity is true - and why it is clearly the only true religion:
God 1. God wants us to work hard for our salvation without ever letting us know whether we have done enough to make sure we spend eternity with Him (e.g. as the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Christadelphians, the Popes of Rome, Islam etc. teach) and so we will live the whole of our lives in fear of His judgement/purgatory (another false teaching)/Hell?
God 2. God sent Jesus to pay the full and total price for our sins (a totally FREE GIFT - as described by Scripture earlier!) so that we can know, the instant we believe in Him (as the 'thief on the cross' did), that we are totally saved and heaven-bound?
Does a loving God who has made it as easy to be with Him - as God 2 clearly has - sound like the kind of God you can believe in - or would you prefer Him to be like God 1 (many self-righteous Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims etc. have made it clear to us that they prefer God 1!)?
I would also ask why would the Christadelphians teach that God does not have a major adversary called the Devil - the most evil and cunning creature who rebelled against his Creator? Who would it suit most in spiritual warfare? To believe that you don't have any being in opposition to you, or to believe that there is such a deceiver who desires that you do not know the true God, and who will do his uttermost to persuade you to accept the deceiver's truth and to damage and destroy as many people on earth as possible?
God knew from all eternity that man would rebel against Him and fall and He also knew that He was going to make provision to redeem people from all eternity. God's knowledge and omniscience is as Eternal as He is. Everything that God knows, He knows from Eternity. Only sinners are in need of salvation and, as proven by examining just the Book to the Romans, we know God must have considered us as being sinners and fallen as we were considered in His Divine Mind for salvation. Ultimately, the decision to save us was made in Eternity, according to God's divine knowledge of us, and His timing is Perfect. He will draw men to Him and 'quicken' their spirit (make us 'alive' to His calling through the Holy Spirit) as He sees fit. Some take a short time to believe, some a long time - and some reject Him. Only He knows all the answers from the beginning!
We will be praying that you come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour in the very near future.
In Christ Jesus
(Continued on next page)