The Devil Can Preach a Great “Biblical” Sermon

Jas 2:19  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

2Co 11:14-15  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  (15)  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

More than once I have spoken with domestic abuse victims whose abuser spouse was a pastor or missionary or some other “Christian” worker. And  not only so, but an able preacher whose sermons seemed to edify the church and lead people to Christ!  Recently Todd Wilhelm posted a letter from a fellow who had been a member of the notorious Tom Chantry’s church (Chantry you will recall is a convicted serial child molester who abused and molested children in the church he pastored).  This man said:

Thomas Chantry had the ability to exposit and make Scripture come alive. I learned much from his preaching and consider him one of the best preachers I have ever heard. That ability is what fooled many, including myself.

There were other signs however that served as warnings about Chantry’s true character but it would be years before he was fully exposed for what he is.

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Many Christians Do Not Seem to Know Whose Side they are on or Who the Enemy is

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

I have been a pastor now for nearly 36 years, but prior to this I was a police officer for 14 years. I have always missed those police days, and I want to tell you the chief reason why — we were all certain whose side we were on and who the enemy was.

When I became a pastor I found that certainty and the unity it produces to be largely non-existent in many if not most local churches. Christians do not seem to be on the same side. They do not recognize the enemy. They have foolishly allowed the enemy to infiltrate them. They are not united and lack a sense of “we all wear the same uniform here and have the same badge.” So when the enemy comes along he is not faced with a united team standing together but rather a bickering, doubting, confused group that is rather easy to conquer.

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The Many Little Popes in Evangelicalism – How Evil Creeps in

Gal 2:6  And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

The Apostle Paul was not being arrogant when he made this statement. He was proving that his gospel was Christ’s gospel with which Christ had entrusted him and that it did not originate in man. In doing so, in this verse, he also warns us against undue regard for those who “seem to be influential.”

Barrett Gritters, professor in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, recently wrote an article (The Standard Bearer Magazine, March 2019) entitled “How Could Any Protestant go ‘home’ to Rome?” Listen to one statement he made in partial answer to this question:

There is no pope in Evangelicalism, but there are many little ‘popes.’ They are the presidents of their ministries, the senior pastors (think CEO’s) of their mega-churches, the celebrity speakers on the conference tours, the big names that make money for the publishing houses. How much weight do these heavy-weights carry in their circles? How often do Christians look to them as their authority rather than Scripture?

Bingo. There it is. So many professing Christians are so enamoured with celebrity worship in their churches and denominations, and so many are too lazy to study the Word for themselves, that they simply swallow what these heavy-weights dish out to them. Even if that dish is abusive!

2Co 11:20  For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Consider John Piper. Mr. Big, for example. How much money has he made for the publishing companies? How many throngs of people who claim to know Christ have flocked to hear him speak at conferences, even though he teaches things that horribly oppress victims of evil. He teaches, in case you didn’t know, that there is NEVER a reason for divorce that God approves of. Never. Not even the victim of the most cruel sociopathic domestic abuser is allowed to divorce. And yet if you criticize John Piper to most professing Christians (I say “professing” because by their fruits you cannot see Christ in them), they will be very irate with you. How dare you say anything against Pope John.

Think it through. Where do we see the false teachings parading as God’s Word coming from? Where are the scandals of evil-doings breaking out just about every week? Where are the enslaving traditions coming from that Christians accept without question, just as the Galatian churches were doing when Paul rebuked them? You know the answer. Most of these things are trickling down from the little popes being exalted as if they spoke as prophets and apostles.

So stop it. Let’s all just stop it. Over the years my purchase of Christian books has radically reduced. More – my use of Christian books has greatly been diminished. Not all. I love G.K. Beale and his books on biblical theology that give us insight into the overall theme of the Bible and enable us to better understand the parts. William Hendriksen’s commentaries are wonderful. But all in all I must say that the books I used to be so excited about and just had to get hold of, the conferences I used to attend….all of that for the most part I have jettisoned.

Because I have realized that they not only did not help me see and know Christ better, they actually interfered with my ability to do so.