Tag Archives: false teaching

Joel Osteen’s “Check Theology” Light!

HOUSTON, TX—An exasperated Joel Osteen threw up his hands while preaching this past Sunday as his pulpit’s “Check Theology” light came on once again.

“Ugh, this is the third time this month—what now!?!” he shouted in a rare outburst. Osteen then suddenly realized that the tens of thousands of people who come to his church for a self-help speech every Sunday were watching him intently. “Oh, uh, heh—I mean, it’s no problem. I, uh, just had that little outburst so you could see what NOT to do.”

“See, you don’t want to let negativity in your life,” he said, regaining his composure as he plastered a fake smile on his face.

After the service, Osteen had a pulpit mechanic in to look at the sleek, stainless steel podium. The mechanic hooked it up to his portable computer. “Ah, here’s your problem, bud,” the worker said. “Looks like you’re preaching the Word-Faith gospel again. See, when you tell people that all they have to do to solve their problems is speak words of positivity, it trips the warning on this model.”

“I recommend repenting of your false gospel right away,” the mechanic said helpfully.

Osteen then thanked the mechanic for his help and paid him to rip the Check Theology light right out of the dash.

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Posted by on November 15, 2019 in false teaching


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Habits of Holiness: #5- Engaging with Unbelief?

“Sorry, only six months!” “SIX MONTHS TO LIVE, Doc?” “That’s right. Say, you could use some of that time to engage with some unbelievers who are attacking the Christian faith!” “Okay, Doc,” I said, as I left his office with only 180 days left on this earth.

What if I, what if you, had only six months to live? How would your life be different over the next 180 days?

Several holy habits ought to mark each of us if we are followers of Jesus. We must spend time in His Word; we must take prayer much more seriously than we do; we must follow Jesus’ example and be a friend of sinners; and we must look for opportunities to disciple others!

Another holy habit, I would suggest, applies to those who have been believers for a while. There are some strong challenges to the gospel, the reliability of the Bible, and the exclusivity of Jesus. Titus 1:11 says, “They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” False teaching and teachers must be confronted. And Christian leaders need to read books they know will boil their blood before they get past the preface (my definition of a “boiling book”).

Here are some of the books I’ve read that challenge my Christian convictions. I don’t read these books for spiritual nourishment (much of their content is spiritual poison).

Here are a few books by the false teacher Spong:If you’ve been a believer for a few years, you need to read some books that don’t agree with your Christian convictions, especially if some of your unsaved friends are being influenced by them. Faithful readers of this blog know that I did a 22-post review of Michael Thielen’s book What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?

Here’s an assignment: Ask your unsaved friend what he or she has been reading. Unless it’s a novel, tell them you want to read the same book and discuss it sometime. Then do it!





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Posted by on April 17, 2019 in false teaching


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A Spiritually Healthy Family (A Study of the Epistle to Titus) (Part 2 of 5)

Family Camp at Camp Elim in Woodland Park, Colorado, is taking place on May 25-27. We’re thinking through the five messages that I will share with those families who attend.

The Bible, of course, has much to say about being spiritually healthy. We are a health-obsessed culture, aren’t we? I love the little book by Dave Barry entitled Stay Fit and Healthy Until You’re Dead! But what about our spiritual health?

God’s Word has so much to say to individuals and families about being spiritually healthy. If all 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God, and if God cares about our families, then it is reasonable to pick any book of the Bible and ask, “How can the truths of this book help me lead and develop a spiritually healthy family?” We read in 2 Timothy 3:

Let’s take a second look at the first chapter of Titus:
We have already seen that the spiritually healthy family cares deeply about the local church. Let’s notice a second truth from this passage and it is this —

The Spiritually-Healthy Family —

II. Recognizes False Teaching in Its Many Forms and Opposes It (vv. 10-16)

A. Not All Will Believe the Truth of the Gospel (v. 10)

How we respond to unbelievers is critical! We are here for them — but we protect ourselves from their rebellion by being faithful to the Word.

B. Disruptive Error Must Be Confronted and Corrected (vv. 11-14)

Those who are moving on in spiritual maturity must confront false teaching among God’s people, because ideas have consequences!

C. Unbelief Corrupts! (vv. 15-16)

Unbelief in God’s family is not innocuous. Those who claim to know God must be trained in the truth.

(We will continue this five-part series over the next few days)

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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in family


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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 2 Part 2)

Going to Korea!  (I wonder if they will use  me in their peace talks?!).  I get to teach the book of Galatians to undergrads at the Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island (see red circle below)!

Working our way through this six-chapter letter, we have noticed the first theme in chapter two, Paul’s sense of accountability to leadership (vv. 1-10).

Let’s now see a second theme: We should oppose any compromise of the gospel!  We get Paul’s report of his confrontation with Cephas [why does Paul refer to Peter with that name?)].  Paul “opposed him to his face”!  What was Cephas’ sin?

The answer is that he was compromising the gospel by not eating with Gentile believers!  Cephas was unduly influenced by some in the “circumcision group” and other Jews (including Barnabas) were “led astray” (v. 13).

This compromise led to “not acting in line with the truth of the gospel” (v. 14).  The primary point is that of justification.  Is one justified by faith or by the works of the law (v. 16)?

The law brings DEATH (vv. 19-20), but Christ brings LIFE (v. 20).  Trying to be justified by keeping the law means that one “sets aside the grace of God” — and that is something no missionary should ever do!


Posted by on May 18, 2018 in Galatians


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Time for a Great Cartoon (Reading)

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What have you been reading lately? READING is a Christian discipline which needs to be cultivated and practiced. It is so easy to allow others to do our thinking for us, don’t you agree?

I’m all for reading good Christian books — and I’ve written a few over the years. But I believe it is also important to read books that are not from a Christian perspective. Brand new believers need their reading diet to be from strong and sound books that help them grow in their Christian lives.

For those of us who have been believers for a while, it is quite likely that some of our non-Christian friends are reading books that we too need to read. Some of those books are direct attacks on our Christian faith. I call these “books that will boil your blood before you get past the preface”! Here are some of those books which I’ve read over the last few years:

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Each of these books challenges some major areas of Christian faith. What books are YOU reading that challenge you to think more deeply about your beliefs?


Posted by on May 25, 2016 in reading


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Friends: Have I got a deal for you! My book, Whatever Happened to Heresy?, will be sent to you IF you send $8 to my PayPal account:

Screenshot 2016-01-17 18.52.15 Go to, click on “Pay or Send Money,” and that’s it! I’ll be notified via email that you have paid for the book and I’ll send it to you. You are also welcome to send me your shipping address (email me at

Whatever Happened to Heresy? is a collection of essays that were originally published in The Emmaus Journal.  We define heresy, touch on some famous heretics in church history, and analyze contemporary false teachers and their aberrant doctrines.  (By the way, the cover’s original artwork is meant to represent Rob Bell’s rowing away from orthodoxy). 


Posted by on May 12, 2016 in heresy


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What on Earth Are We to Do about Unbelief? (Part 5 of 10)

FirefoxScreenSnapz689When we look around us at an  unbelieving world, what is the Christian to do?  Wring his hands in despair?  Keep focused only on his own walk with God and ignore the world?  No, we have seen in this one-chapter letter of Jude that we are to, first of all, keep ourselves strong in the faith (vv. 1-4).  We must, however, be aware of attacks on the Christian faith (vv. 3-4).  Third, we saw that we must be prepared to do battle for the truths of Christianity (vv. 3-4).  In our last post we realized that we must acknowledge that the Lord who delivers is a God who also destroys (vv. 5-7).

Let’s look at our fifth response to an unbelieving world and it is this —

Step #5-  We must Realize the Dangers of False Teaching (vv. 8-10)
8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

False teaching is not innocent.  Contradicting the truths of God’s Word must not be viewed as simply alternative viewpoints or different perspectives or another set of religious opinions.  Jude tells us these false teachers, who give way too much authority to their own dreams, “pollute their own bodies” (v. 8).  FirefoxScreenSnapz695Self-pollution comes from false teaching.  An air of unteachableness marks them, for they “reject authority,” not wanting to be corrected.  They also “heap abuse on celestial beings.”  I’m not sure what Jude means by this expression, but we know that we are to have a healthy respect for, but not undue attention on, the members of the angelic world God created.

To illustrate his point, Jude gives us a view into the angelic world, citing the archangel Michael as one who turned to the Lord in his dispute with the devil about the body of Moses (v. 9).  Apparently Jude is alluding to the Jewish Testament of Moses (approximately the first century A.D.).  His point is that Michael “knew his place” and deferred to the Lord in dealing with the devil.  Jude stresses that these FirefoxScreenSnapz697contemporary false teachers slander what they don’t understand — and what they do understand will destroy them. (to be continued)

“The sin both of men and of angels was rendered possible by the fact that God gave us free will.”
― C.S. Lewis

1.  We often think of false teachers and their teaching as negatively impacting others.  What are some effects of false teaching on the teachers themselves?

2.  How do we achieve a biblical balance between not thinking too much about angels and giving them too much attention?








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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in unbelief


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